Despite the current downturn the automotive industry is experiencing due to the Coronavirus outbreak, manufacturers still have big plans for the future. That includes BMW and its Chinese partner, Brilliance Automotive, who have kicked off construction of another plant in the Tiexi district. Yesterday a ceremony was held on the grounds, marking this new chapter in BMW’s presence in China.

The new facility will cover an area of 3.2 square kilometers and will have all the latest technologies BMW implements in its plants around the world including autonomous robots and 5G connectivity for a streamlined production process. It will also feature flexible assembly lines which should allow the company to build ICE, PHEV and EV models at the same time, a key advantage BMW in the coming years of EV manufacturing.

The investment made in this new plant will rise up to €3 billion over the next years and will be finished by 2040. This expansion will transform the Chinese location into the largest BMW worldwide. At the moment, it’s matching the US-based plant in Spartanburg, which has an estimated production capacity of 450,000 units per year, but the Chinese plant is estimated to reach a capacity of 650,000 units per year once the work is done. The BMW-Brilliance joint partnership already has a plant in Tiexi which has been operational since 2017.

The new location will feature dedicated workshops for stamping, car body building, painting, and assembly, and create thousands of jobs to local residents. Six BMW models are being manufactured here, from the BMW X1 LWB to the 1 Series Sedan, 2 Series Tourer, 3 Series Sedan – in both standard and long wheelbase versions – and the 5 Series long wheelbase model which rolls off the assembly line in Dadong which is basically next door to Tiexi, these two making up the largest BMW facility in the world.