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BMW Avoids Subprime Impact, CEO Bullish on Sales

The U.S. subprime crisis had little impact on the top line of luxury automaker BMW, the company's CEO said Tuesday, but expectations of stricter emission standards are pushing the company to produce more environmentally-friendly cars.

"For us (subprime) was not a crisis," BMW CEO Dr. Norbert Reithofer told CNBC's Dan Scott at the Frankfurt Motor Show. "We were able to sell about 19% more vehicles in the United States compared to 2006."

BMWhas invested heavily in cleaner, more fuel-efficient motors and is relying on preempting European Union legislation and a wholesale move to greener driving to generate return on its investment.

"Emission reduction will be a very important part for the future of the automobile industry," Reithofer said, adding that he expects to start to see a return on the company's heavy emission-reduction spending by 2009 or 2010.

Looking ahead, Reithofer expects the Germany company to sell more than 1.4 million autosin 2007.

"You see me very optimistic," he added.

With the prospect of new European Union legislation on carbon emissions looming, Reithofer remains confident and said the company is on track for its 2008 emission targets.