BMW to Shift Engine Production to Austria and England as German Plants Go Electric

By Kurt Stolz on 19 November 2020
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The Tilt Conveyor at the BMW Factory in Munich

BMW announced Wednesday that it plans to retool all of its German factories to build electric cars, rather than just gasoline, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

The Bavarian automaker said that it will invest €400 million to retool its Munich factory to produce electric vehicles and components while shifting the manufacture of combustion engines to its Steyr and Hams Hall plants in Austria and England as the Bavarian automaker shifts towards low-emission vehicles. 

“We are continually developing Plant Munich towards electromobility and creating efficient and competitive production structures for this purpose,” said Milan Nedeljković, a member of the BMW supervisory board in charge of production.

“By the end of 2022, all our German factories will make at least one fully electric car,” said Nedeljković.

BMW’s plans call for Werk München to build the i4 electric vehicle, which will be built using the same CLAR, or Cluster Architecture, platform as the combustion engine-powered 4-Series coupe and which will share its EV powertrain with the iX3 SUV. 

The Cluster Architecture will be in use starting in the middle of the coming decade, Nedeljković said.

BMW plans to eventually offer an electric-vehicle option in each model including the 5 Series and 7 Series.

Werk München currently produces the BMW 3 Series including the 330e plug-in hybrid and the M3, as well as four- and six-cylinder engines and BMW’s V8 and V12 powerplants for larger luxury vehicles.  Every tenth vehicle that comes off the assembly line in Munich is a plug-in hybrid. The plant opened in 1922. 

 “The decision to build a new assembly at our almost 100-year-old Munich plant shows that transformation can secure, and even create, industrial jobs in the heart of the city,” said Manfred Schoch, deputy chairman of the supervisory board.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)