BMW is investing 650 million euros in its main plant in Munich
No question: BMW is currently doing brilliantly. The Munich-based company is bursting with financial strength, produced almost 2.6 million vehicles for the first time in 2023 and has ambitious goals. At a company event on the realignment of the main plant in Munich, Production Director Milan Nedeljkovic emphasized that BMW can not only produce, but also transform itself at the same time. In order to keep pace with the transition to a new automotive age, BMW is investing around 650 million euros in the oldest production site by 2026.
The new class will initially roll off the assembly line in Hungary
To this end, the 100-year-old BMW factory in Munich will be modernized piece by piece, parts of the current production will be demolished and completely rebuilt. The goal: From 2026, an electric sedan in the so-called New Class will roll off the assembly line in the Bavarian capital in parallel with the production of current models (around 1,000 3 and 4 Series per day). From 2027, the production of combustion vehicles in Munich will be completely ended. At the same time, BMW is investing more than 2 billion euros in the new production site in Debrecen, Hungary. Another model variant of the New Class, an SUV the size of the current X3, will roll off the assembly line here from 2025. In parallel to the efforts in Europe, BMW announced at the beginning of 2023 that individual models of the New Class would also be built in Shenyang, China from 2026 and in San Luis Potosi, Mexico from 2027. Spartanburg, USA, will be the final location to be transformed by 2030.
New class includes 6 models
Mike Reichelt, project manager for the Neue Klasse, emphasized again at the press event at the Munich headquarters that the Neue Klasse will not be a single model, but a completely new generation of vehicles including 800-volt architecture. Unlike today, for example, in the future the battery pack will be part of the body, which saves installation space and creates additional space for the passengers. Accordingly, Reichelt also contradicts the rumors that the next-gen sedan shown as a concept study could be the successor to the current three-series. It is conceivable that BMW will drop the familiar nomenclature entirely or significantly modify it as part of its transformation process. In the first attempt, the new class will contain 6 different models. Although sedans and SUVs are considered a given, it remains unclear whether the Touring station wagon variant will still have a future for Munich residents after 2030.
What’s next at BMW with the combustion engines?
On the other hand, BMW’s transformation is also characterized by continuity. Milan Nedeljkovic shows that e-mobility will be an additional, but not yet the main, field of activity for the people of Munich by the end of the decade. In the past year, 2023, only one in seven cars was purely battery-powered. By 2030, every second BMW produced will run on electricity. In order to serve the great interest in BMW models with combustion engines, the car manufacturer continues to have two engine plants in Hams-Hall, England, and Steyr, Austria. They will also take over the production of the engines that were previously manufactured at the Munich headquarters. At the end of 2023, the tradition of BMW engine building in Germany ended there after 60 years. (Text: tv | Images: manufacturer)