The BMW Group is investing half a billion euros in building the new BMW 3 Series at the Munich plant, where series production launches today.
"The BMW 3 Series is the most important volume-produced model from the BMW Group as well as the biggest-selling model in the entire premium segment. To ensure that the sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series likewise leaves the factory in flawless quality, we have invested around 500 million euros in our Munich home plant. And that means safeguarding 9,000 workplaces," said Frank-Peter Arndt, Member of the BMW AG Board of Management responsible for production, in Munich on Friday.
As series production of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan got under way, Christian Ude, Mayor of Munich, along with Manfred Schoch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the BMW Group, also spoke before a large gathering of employees at the BMW plant in Munich.
2012 BMW 3 Series production starts today in Munich plant
"As Munich residents we can count ourselves fortunate that the decision to build the new 3 Series here signals a clear and impressive commitment to Munich on the part of BMW," said Christian Ude. "BMW is not just one of our major employers and corporate tax payers, but beyond that also actively contributes to the wellbeing of the city."
Manfred Schoch added: "Credit for this achievement on the part of the Munich site must also go to the highly motivated and committed employees who invest huge efforts and true dedication into ensuring that this location retains its attractiveness and competitive edge."
The production launch of the sixth-generation BMW 3 Series marks the start of a new era at the Munich home plant. The investments have flowed, among other areas, into innovative production equipment and state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. They form part of a long-term strategy aimed at strengthening the competitiveness and future viability of the Munich plant and thereby safeguarding 9,000 workplaces in the Bavarian state capital. In doing so, the BMW Group is signalling a special commitment to social responsibility at its headquarters.
The production plant in Munich is a firm fixture of the BMW Group's global production network. It acts as the lead plant worldwide for production of the new BMW 3 Series. All regions across the globe will be supplied directly from the home plant to ensure a simultaneous market launch. Furthermore, it was the Munich plant that determined the assembly sequencing and process architecture for the production of the BMW 3 Series on behalf of the entire production network. Thanks to the standardised manufacturing processes and efficient production systems, the ramp-up at the Munich plant will be very short. Just three months after the start of production of the BMW 3 Series Sedan, peak output of 680 units a day will be achieved. Total output at the plant will then exceed 900 vehicles per day.
Munich plant sets benchmarks for modern car construction.
Its location within the city presents the BMW Munich plant with some special challenges. The complex production infrastructure, set out across a total area of some 700,000 square metres, calls for extremely high density and means that the most important volume-produced model of the Bavarian premium manufacturer is built on up to five different floors. The smooth coordination between production, logistics, transport and administration within such a confined space is an achievement that ranks as a tour de force in modern-day automotive construction worldwide.
State-of-the-art facilities for innovative vehicle production.
To ensure the utmost precision and efficiency, new production structures were created for all the manufacturing areas.
Building the sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series thus benefits, for example, from a new large press. At 17 strokes per minute, this installation counts among the most advanced in the world. It achieves throughput of 600 tonnes of steel per day and develops press forces of 650 to 2,500 tonnes. In a matter of 12 days, then, this high-performance facility processes a similar amount of steel as went into the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The new production infrastructure also ensures the highest possible economy of space and optimal material flows. Beyond that, the high-tech press enables an improvement in quality and efficiency.
Latest-generation robots are at work in the body shop and paintshop.