BMW says not planning to launch X5 pick-up


FRANKFURT, March 22 (Reuters) - German luxury carmaker BMW AG denied on Monday a weekend newspaper report that said it was planning a pick-up version of its successful X5 sports utility vehicle.

"There are no such plans," a spokeswoman said, calling the report in Sunday's Bild am Sonntag as "pure speculation."

The newspaper said that BMW management was considering building a pick-up version of the SUV on a lengthened X5 platform at its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina.

BMW's reliance on the U.S. auto market for growth has risen considerably over the years, as annual group vehicle sales to the United States quadrupled in the past decade to over 277,000 cars in 2003.

The U.S. accounts for roughly 27 percent of the group's car sales, making it the largest single market for the Munich-based firm.



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