BMW net income falls 74 percent in third

German carmaker BMW, which has its only U.S. plant in Greer, said Tuesday its net income fell 74 percent in the third quarter as the economic downturn hurt demand.

BMW, the world's biggest luxury car company by sales, said net income for the period amounted to $115 million, down from $438 million in the July-September period of 2008.

The Munich-based company said it delivered 7.2 percent fewer cars during the July-September period and that its revenue fell 6.6 percent.

BMW said that total car sales likely would be between 10 percent to 15 percent lower than in 2008 provided there are no further economic setbacks. Automobile group production for the first nine months of the year was 21 percent lower at 907,429.

The company said it also had reduced its work force by 5.3 percent during the year up to Sept. 30 to 98,358 employees.

BMW announced last month it would add two production shifts at its Greer plant and add as many as 700 contract workers. The plant employs about 5,000.

- The Associated Press