SINGAPORE – BMW AG plans to double sales in Asia in the next five years.

Michael Ganal, a member of BMW's board of management, tells Reuters the company aims to sell 150,000 cars a year in Asia by 2008. Sales last year rose 28% to 78,000 units.

"We would like to sell, five years from now, 150,000 cars, given the huge potential we find in Asia," he says. "In Asia, Japan is clearly number one with around 46,000 cars sold last year, but we expect a certain move toward China."

BMW, which held its annual regional conference in Singapore, says China now is its second-largest market in the region, accounting for 12% of sales and the company believes it could pass Japan in five years.