BMW is accelerating its electrification pace. Come 2021, the BMW iNEXT will kick off in production at Dingolfing, on an all new assembly line that is worth EUR 400 million. Dingolfing plant, located in Lower Bavaria, will become a competence production center for electrified and autonomous vehicles starting with 2021. Through an investment estimated at 400 millions euros, the German constructor aims to completely modernize and upgrade the assembly line and process at the largest European production location.
With this giant leap, BMW will be able to produce the right mix of battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid and internal combustion engine cars on a single assembly lines in a seamless and flexible process.
Milan Nedeljkovic, member of the Board of Management BMW AG responsible for Production, commented on the announcement of the Dingolfing investment: “Thanks to our flexible production structures, our plants are ideally equipped to meet the most diverse market needs. We firmly believe that, over the next few years, there will be more than just one solution worldwide for all our customers’ mobility needs. Instead, we expect to see a mix of different drive technologies.”
The forthcoming BMW iNEXT series model will be the very first battery electric vehicle to be assembled on the production line at Dingolfing. Besides arrangements and adaptations to integrate the production of purely electric vehicles in the normal cycle, the 400 million euros investment also prepares the Dingolfing site for the transition towards highly automated vehicles.
Nedeljkovic further added on the subject: “As the technology in our cars grows more and more complex, system integration capabilities will become a decisive competitive advantage. With the BMW iNEXT, our Dingolfing location is demonstrating that we are capable of implementing growing product demands in efficient large-scale industrial production.”
Practically all areas are preparing at full swing for the major changes set for Dingolfing plant.Production was interrupted for four weeks in August to allow the vehicle plant to conduct various construction and remodeling activities and to prepare the site for new models, with the BMW iNEXT primarily in mind.
A few months ago, the body shop was redesigned and adapted for the BMW iNEXT. New production lines are being set up for the complex assembly of the body’s surface and paneling. The Dingolfing facility benefits from the rich expertise in lightweight and composite materials used for body and chassis of the vehicles, one good example in this topic being the current G11/G12 7 Series.
The assembly lines have been extensively modified and enhanced as to allow an innovative mix of steel, aluminum, carbon fiber and CFRP materials into the vehicle production.
The BMW iNEXT will benefit from the many production processes set up at the site. In one of Dingolfing’s two assembly halls, the new model will be produced efficiently and flexibly on a single line along with upper niche models such as the BMW 5 Series, 7 Series and 8 Series models.
Given the fact it is a fully electric vehicle, the iNEXT will skip some of the conventional parts of the production, such as the installation of the powertrain for the ICE vehicles, but it will eventually put an accent when it comes to battery installation, for example.
The seamless integration and the high flexibility of the new production line at Dingolfing will enable a continuous flow, regardless of the vehicle and without the need to stop the assembly cycle or further delay due to vehicle specifics (BEV vs. ICE vs. plug-in hybrids).
With the help of the BMW iNEXT pioneer, the Dingolfing plant will become the crucial facility with regards to electric and autonomous mobility. Christoph Schroeder, the newly appointed plant manager, highlighted the importance of the iNEXT: “The BMW iNEXT is more than just a new model. It’s a pioneer for many key automotive innovations, especially autonomous driving. It is also paving the way for further rollout of these technologies over the coming years. The current structural measures for the iNEXT will also benefit other models built in Dingolfing in the future.”
The largest European production site of BMW located in Lower Bavaria is the major birthplace for all models starting with the 3 Series and ending with the range-topping 8 Series. In 2018, more than 330,000 vehicles were produced here. On average, the Dingolfing plant assembles around 1,500 examples of the 3- , 4-, 5-, 6-, 7- and 8 Series per day.