BMW is enhancing its operations in Brazil with the electrification of the Araquari plant. The BMW X5 plug-in hybrid will also be manufactured in South America starting in 2024. The X5 xDrive50e will join the X1, X3, X4, and the 3 Series at the Araquari facility. The X5 PHEV is also manufactured in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for global markets.

“At the BMW Group, production follows market demand. Last year, BMW Group Brazil achieved a record of 25% share of electrified vehicles within the sales mix. In addition, the BMW X5 was the third-best model of the entire BMW line-up in Brazil. It is a logical conclusion for us to announce the production of the BMW X5 plug-in hybrid in Brazil now,” says Michael Nikolaides, Head of Production Network and Logistics at BMW Group.

He added, “Our commitment to technological diversity is strong, with PHEVs continuing to play a crucial role in our portfolio. This marks the first instance of such technology being introduced to a South American facility. The Araquari plant is versatile, being the only location in our network producing ICE, PHEV, and Flex-fuel models. We can quickly adapt to produce hybrid or electric models depending on market needs. Our next goal is to manufacture PHEV and ICE models on the same production line.”

Since commencing operations in 2014, the BMW Group’s Araquari plant in Santa Catarina, Brazil, has included a Body Shop, Paint Shop, Assembly, Quality, and Logistics processes, alongside a BMW Group Engineering Office within the plant’s premises. In December 2023, the BMW Group announced a 10% increase in the plant’s production capacity for 2024, aiming to reach an annual output of 11,000 units, while continuously expanding and training its workforce to handle the production of electrified vehicles.

Plant Araquari is one of the 32 factories BMW operates globally. The most productive BMW Group plant in 2023 was in Dadong where 420,586 vehicles were produced. In second place came Spartanburg with 410,793 cars while another Chinese plant, Tiexi, took third with 307,972 cars. Up next were four German factories (Dingolfing, Regensburg, Munich, Leipzig), followed by Oxford in the United Kingdom and San Luis Potosi in Mexico. In 2023, the BMW Group put together 2,661,922 BMWs, MINIs, and Rolls-Royces, or 11.7% more than the year before.