The BMW i4 is entering the final stretch. The highly-anticipated car will be entering production next year before sales and deliveries will kick off. In order to make sure everything’s ready by 2021, BMW Plant Munich will have to do a bit of tinkering, which will require a pause in vehicle production this summer. BMW announced today that the Munich plant won’t be rolling out any new cars for six weeks, between July 23 and September 7, while changes are being done to the production lines.
This will be a major challenge for Plant Munich. Numerous structural and remodeling measures are necessary for the fully electric BMW i4. The high-voltage battery makes the BMW i4 body different to that of the vehicle models previously built at the plant. Nevertheless, about 90 percent of the existing production systems used in the body shop can be integrated and enabled for future BMW i4 production.
Only 10 percent – specifically, equipment used in production of the rear end – cannot be integrated, because of the high-voltage battery, and require new systems to be set up. The high-voltage battery in the BMW i4 is installed from below. A new and separate battery assembly will be set up for this within vehicle assembly.
“Confined structures make any remodeling and installation measures at Plant Munich particularly challenging. Old systems have to be removed, and new ones installed and put into service, in very tight spaces within six weeks. This takes meticulous planning and a lot of creativity,” underlined plant director Robert Engelhorn.
“We are gearing up our Munich plant for the future. Once remodeling is finished, we will be able to produce vehicles with diesel, petrol and hybrid drive trains, as well as the fully-electric BMW i4, all on the same line. This will allow us to respond flexibly to customer demand,” he added.
The i4 won’t be the sole beneficiary from all this work. As well as installing new systems, existing production equipment will also have to be converted so the BMW 3 Series Sedan and BMW 3 Series Touring – both with combustion engines and hybrid drive train, the new BMW M3 and the fully-electric BMW i4 can all be produced on the same line.