The BMW plant in Munich is being transformed and will manufacture exclusively electric models from the end of 2027.
Really, what a contradiction, h BMWa company that pioneered electrification by presenting in 2013 the i3then seemed to be idle on its electric transformation, for which, unlike most companies, it has not officially given a time horizon.
And yet the Bavarian company is making an impressive move with undoubted symbolism completely transforming the historic Munich factory, where from 2026 its new electric sedan, the Neue Klasse, will be manufactureda car we recently got a glimpse of in the prototype of the same name.
A year later, at the end of 2027, it will come end of an era for cars with internal combustion engines at the particular Munich factory, after 75 years.
At her headquarters BMW
We found ourselves in snowy Munich, perhaps the only car factory in the world located in the heart of the city. Opposite the sports facilities where the Olympic games were hosted in 1972, today history is being made through a gigantic investment amounting to 650 million euros.
The electric 7 therefore that picked us up from the airport parked in a part of the factory under construction, next to two historic BMWs. Walking through the door of the nondescript industrial building, the presentation space felt like a time capsule traveling us back to the 60s, with the furniture, decor and music maintaining this illusion.
THE New Class of 1961 dominated the center of said scene. This particular car was pivotal for BMW which started out producing aircraft engines and motorcycles. After the war the company was forced to turn to car manufacturing, initially targeting an elite buyer with the 501 and 502 and then the Isettato low-income buyers.
However, the Neue Klasse and then in ’66 the ’02’ series (followed by the first 3 series in ’75) were aimed at the middle class, and thus particularly popular, establishing BMW in the motoring firmament.
The new electric age
Today, a new era dawns for the BMW Group plant in Munich as the unit is being modernized from end to end, will be fully digitized and run with the help of artificial intelligence.
As the speakers explained to us, electric cars are gaining more and more ground, as last year they represented one in 7 cars manufactured by BMW, this year the relative ratio will be 1 in 5 and by the end of the decade thermal and electric will share equally the preferences of the public.
The first electrified model produced at the Munich factory was the plug-in hybridor variant thereof Series 3which in 2015 began to be manufactured on the same line as vehicles with an internal combustion engine.
In 2021, the BMW i4 it became the first all-electric model to roll off the same assembly line. Today, every second vehicle that rolls off the production line has a purely electric drive system.
The Neue Klasse essentially represents the company’s new philosophy for electrification where greater autonomy will not be based on the installation of batteries with increased capacity but on achieving significant savings in the movement of the car.
In fact, a whole series of models with a different philosophy will be based on this particular car. Following the commissioning of the upgraded Munich plant and the new facility in Debrecen, Hungary, the Neue Klasse vehicles will also be produced in Shenyang (China) and San Luis Potosí (Mexico).
The factory of tomorrow
As with the periodic changes made at the factory, today’s transformation is progressing, while at the same time the operation of the unit goes on and about the 1,000 cars roll off the production line every dayincluding the 3 Series and the BMW i4.
In order to create the necessary space in the limited area of the factory, after about 70 years, engine manufacturing was transferred at Hams Hall in Great Britain and Steyr in Austria.
About 1.200 workers were trained for different production strategies in Munich or were hired at other locations in the production network.
Its principles are applied in the new factory BMW iFACTORY which focuses on three areas: data science (data science), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and virtualization (virtualization) – i.e. the creation of virtual representations of the factory’s functions, all with the aim of maximum flexibility, excellent processes and their integration in all BMW Group facilities.
Another important aspect of the new factory is the integrated digitization with a holistic approach to the interaction between people, processes and systems. It optimizes processes and supports employees in their work. New times, new customs…