FRANKFURT (AP) -- German carmaker BMW AG said Thursday that starting in June it would resume two shifts a day at its Leipzig plant, where it had reduced production to one shift in November to adjust to weaker demand.
At the company's annual general meeting in Munich, company executives said strong demand for the BMW 1 series of sedans and plans to build the BMW X1 SUV were behind the Leipzig production increase.
The company also said it would continue to focus on the premium sector, which has potential to expand in regions such as Asia.
"The market for premium vehicles will continue to grow over the medium to long term," BMW Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer told shareholders.
He said, for example, that premium cars accounted for only 1 percent to 2 percent of the market in China, a market segment he expects to increase considerably.
He also confirmed that a slew of new models to be released in future are expected to boost sales.
Earlier this month BMW reported a loss of euro152 million for the first quarter on sales that were 13 percent lower. It was the company's second straight loss, but much smaller than the one booked in the fourth quarter of 2008.
BMW has said it's likely sales will be lower in 2009 as a whole, but that it hopes to continue increasing its market share.
Shares of BMW were 1 percent higher at euro24 in Frankfurt morning trading.