BMW and automobile manufacturing company Avtotor have been collaborating since 1999 to make a variety of models. It all started with the 5 Series (E39) before other models were added throughout the years. The cars have been made using semi-knocked-down (SKD) kits, but fully built vehicles are planned under the new agreement.
The current contract expires next month and has been renewed until 2028. The tie-up calls for welding, painting, and assembling cars at the factory in Kaliningrad. Avtotor will upgrade the plant through an investment of at least 32 billion RUB or about $414 million at current exchange rates. To be less reliant on external suppliers, additional materials will be localized.
Choosing which models would be built going forward was easy as BMW and Avtotor looked at the most popular nameplates in Russia. The decision taken was to manufacture the 5 Series along with the X5, X6, and X7 large SUVs.
Avtotor has similar agreements with other automakers, including South Korean brands Kia and Hyundai. It also used to collaborate with General Motors and Chinese company Chery.
Four High-End Models Will Carry The “Made In Russia” Label
All four BMWs to be made by Avtotor are due to receive changes in the near future. The BMW X5 will be facelifted later this year and its “coupe” sibling, the X6, is likely not far behind. 2022 will also bring a Life Cycle Impulse for the fullsize X7 (with split headlights), while the 5 Series will switch to the next generation in 2023.
Another important change in the BMW Group’s production chain is planned for this year by assembling the next MINI Countryman in-house. While automotive manufacturing company VDL Nedcar in Born, The Netherlands makes the current model, its replacement will come from Leipzig. Consequently, the German plant will be the first to build both a BMW (X1) and a MINI.
Speaking of cars built by a third party, the company will allegedly phase out the Z4 in 2025. BMW has outsourced the roadster’s production to Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria. The same automobile manufacturing firm makes the mechanically related Toyota Supra.
[Source: BMW Russia]