Munich (dpa) – BMW is halting the production of gasoline and diesel engines at the main Munich plant and is building a new vehicle assembly center geared towards electric cars in the area that has become free. It should go into operation in 2026 and cost 400 million euros, said production director Milan Nedeljković.
The 1,000 affected employees in engine manufacturing would be offered other jobs at BMW in Munich or other locations in Bavaria.
“We are constantly implementing our electrification strategy. Each of our German plants will produce at least one fully electric vehicle by the end of 2022, ”said Nedeljković.
Works council chief Manfred Schoch said: “This decision is a model for a successful transformation in German industry.” The construction of a new assembly plant at BMW’s home plant, which is almost 100 years old, shows “that transformation, if approached strategically and courageously, can secure and expand industrial jobs even in the midst of a big city”.
The four, six, eight and twelve cylinder internal combustion engines that were previously built in Munich will in future be built at the Steyr engine factories in Austria and Hams Hall in England. The relocation will take place gradually no later than 2024. Today, Steyr and Hams Hall are working hard and can continue to use their capacity even as electric mobility has increased, Nedeljković explained.
“We are continuously developing the Munich plant in the direction of electromobility and creating efficient and competitive production structures for this,” said the Board of Directors. A completely new set of vehicles is being installed at the vacant site of the engine plant, which is designed for BMW’s new platform, which is heavily geared towards electric drives. This platform will be launched at BMW’s planned Debrecen plant in Hungary in the mid-1920s and then rolled out to all other plants.
BMW has rebuilt its plants in such a way that they can produce combustion, hybrid and electric cars on the same line and thus react flexibly to customer requests. By the end of 2021, it will have reduced fixed costs by € 500 million a year, the head of production said. The all-electric BMW i4 in Munich and the BMW iX in Dingolfing are scheduled to start in late 2021, while the all-electric versions of the 7 and 5 series are on the starting grid in Dingolfing. In 2022, production of the X1 will start at the Regensburg plant as a combustion engine, which will also be offered with fully electric propulsion. The Mini Countryman will continue in Leipzig in 2023 as a combustion engine and as an e-car.
Despite Brexit, the BMW board considers the Oxford mini-plant to be safe. “We will be there for the next ten years,” Nedeljković said. In China, the e-mini factory will be completed with partner Great Wall in 2022, and local production of the X5 is being planned. The new Asia Pacific Customs Union will undoubtedly bring about changes in production.