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The FascinaTion oF ProducTion
Global ProducTion neTwork
Flexible · eFFicienT · innovaTive
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Global ProducTion
Production follows the market
Pursuing a strategy of local production, the BMW Group capitalises
on opportunities to penetrate and develop markets with long-term
growth potential. This enhances local acceptance in the market and
makes the BMW Group a local player. The BMW Group pursues this
strategy particularly in markets where high import duties obstruct
the import of fully assembled automobiles and thus prevent more
extensive market penetration. In addition to operating local automobile
plants, so-called “completely knocked down” (CKD) plants can
also be used in such cases to offer products in emerging markets at
competitive prices. In the CKD process, cars are assembled locally
from imported sets of parts and components and supplemented by
parts produced locally, thus fulilling the local content requirement
imposed by governments.
Four brands, four model series
Apart from BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce cars, the BMW Group
production network also builds BMW motorcycles of the BMW and
Husqvarna brands.
“Made by The bMw GrouP”
BMW automobiles are built at 13 plants all over the world. The
backbone of BMW’s production network is formed by six plants in
Dingoling, Leipzig, Munich, Regensburg, Rosslyn, and Spartanburg,
as well as a joint venture in Shenyang. Wherever appropriate, the
BMW Group integrates external partners into serial production.
But the BMW Group continues to retain the relevant expertise as well
as maintaining overall control and decision-making authority when it
comes to design, engine construction, purchasing, testing, service
and warranty matters.
The BMW Group aspires to be right at the top of all market segments in which our four brands are
represented. Highly emotional, individually tailored products with exceptional design and supreme
customer beneits are a clear expression of our consistent premium strategy.
Our fascinating products are created by a very versatile and highly eficient production network
with sophisticated work processes and state-of-the-art plants and facilities. Beyond the conines
of individual plants and borders, we constantly and consistently improve our resources and expertise.
And thanks to lexible management we are quickly able to adjust our production to the requirements
of the respective market.
The BMW Group also makes use of natural hedging: a high level
of purchase volume in key sales regions with differing currencies
serves to balance out the low of merchandise as well as make up
for currency luctuations and the associated trading risks.
The BMW Group operates the CKD plants in Chennai and Rayong,
while in Jakarta, Cairo, Kaliningrad and Kuala Lumpur BMW
cooperates closely with external partners.
Throughout this global production network, the BMW Group applies the same high standards to
processes, quality, safety, and sustainability. This guarantees that all products “Made by the BMW
Group” fulil the signiicant demands made of premium products.
The network is founded upon the sound expertise and enormous commitment of our associates.
They are the key to the success of the BMW Group.
Frank-Peter arndt
Member of the Board of BMW AG, Production
Production of the MINI is located in Great Britain, where the “MINI
Production Triangle” comprises the Oxford, Hams Hall, and Swindon
plants. Swindon produces pressings and body components for MINI
cars, which are delivered just-in-time to the body assembly plant in
Oxford. Hams Hall builds 4-cylinder petrol engines, which arrive at
the assembly line in Oxford just-in-sequence, i.e. exactly on time and
tailored to each car on the assembly line. The MINI automobiles for
the world market are manufactured at the Oxford plant. The MINI
Countryman is built by an external partner in Graz. Rolls-Royce Motor
Cars Ltd. has had its production facilities in Goodwood in t he south of
England since 2003. Working largely by hand, experi en ced specialists
create the exclusive Phantom models at this very special pla n t
dedicated entirely to Rolls-Royce: the classic Sedan (2003), the
Drophead Coupé (2007), the Coupé (2008) and the new model
Ghost (2009).
Berlin motorcycles
Dingolfing 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series
Eisen ach componen ts
Landshut components
Leipzig 1 Series, X1
Munich 3 Series
Regensburg 1 Series, 3 Series, Z4
Wackersdorf components
BMW 1 Series
BMW 3 Series
Hams Hall engines
Oxford MINI
Swindon components
Goodwood Rolls-Royce
Steyr engines
BMW 5 Series
BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
Cassinetta Husqvarna
All BMW motorcycles and most motorcycle engines are built at BMW’s
motorcycle plant in Berlin, where production of the highest standard is
combined with truly outstanding tradition: production of motorcycles
involves a large share of craftsmanship and manual work. The decal
lines on various motorcycle components, for example, are still a p plied
by hand as in the early years of BMW motorcycle production.
Graz MINI Co untryman
Spartanburg X3, X5, X6
BMW 6 Series
BMW 7 Series
The Husqvarna brand has also belonged to the BMW Group since 2008.
The Cassinetta plant near Varese in northern Italy employs a workforce
of over 260. This production site produces all 22 models in the areas
Enduro, Supermotard, Dual Purpose, Cross Country and Motocross.
Engines and components
The heart of every vehicle is its engine – which is precisely why the
BMW Group has always focused consistently on the development
and production of power units. The BMW Group’s three engine
production plants in Hams Hall, Munich, and Steyr supply engines
to the Group’s worldwide production network. This is supplemented
by the production of components at four German production sites:
Berlin, Eisenach, Landshut, and Wackersdorf.
Rosslyn 3 Series
The same standards of quality, safety and the prudent use of
resources apply worldwide to all BMW Group plants and products.
Production plants Assembly plants Joint ventures Outsourced production
BMW motorcycles
Husqvarna motorcycles
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The huMan success FacTor
inTelliGenT Processes
Close collaboration between the BMW Group’s Research and Innovation
Centre in Munich and the worldwide research and development ofices
ensures ongoing improvement and enhancement of BMW products.
Right from the start in a very early phase of the Product Development
Process (PEP), the two divisions – Development and Production –
cooperate very closely, assuming joint responsibility for the appropriate
completion of each vehicle project as well as the quality and reliability
of the automobiles supplied.
Fast and lexible
Despite the constant increase in model diversity, the BMW Group’s
production network is suficiently lexible to build different models
and versions at every plant. An important feature in this context is
the universal main assembly line in production, allowing assembly
of various models in any sequence on one and the same production
line. This enables the BMW Group to respond lexibly to luctuations
in the market and individual customer wishes, working to optimum
capacity at all plants.
Qualiied and committed
Each and every associate contributes to the quality of our products. A high level
of individual responsibility, constant supervision of one’s own quality at work,
and the wish to obtain even higher qualiications for new tasks all are part of the
corporate culture lived out consistently by all associates of BMW. Forming an
integral part of the BMW Group’s worldwide network, this corporate culture
ensures an eficient transfer of knowledge beyond the borders and conines of the
individual plants. And through their commitment and hard work at all new plants
and in the launch of new models, BMW Group associates ensure a punctual start
of production in each case, maintaining a high level of product quality right from
the beginning.
Flexible working times
More than 300 working time models are used within the BMW Group, enabling
the company to respond lexibly to luctuations in the market and ensure
optimum use of machinery and funds, while at the same time catering to the
individual needs of the company’s associates. This lexibility is achieved by
separating personal working hours from machine operating times: while weekly
working hours remain the same on average throughout the year, machine
operating hours can vary considerably.
virtual testing for a smooth start to serial production
The development of a new vehicle and the production facilities
required would be quite inconceivable today without the use of
virtual tools such as computer-based design programs and complex
simulation models. Using 3D simulations and computer models of
a virtual factory, BMW specialists are able to replicate the entire
low of production and simulate production conditions very close to
subsequent reality. In the production of automobiles, over 80 per cent
of all processes are now veriied and conirmed in virtual reality in
advance, long before the irst production facilities are actually in place.
Since it is impossible for a car-maker to manufacture all of the up
to 20,000 individual components of each model in-house, close
cooperation with partners is absolutely essential. These include
conventional supply companies as well as small, eficient high-tech
companies. Outsourced production of the MINI Countryman in Graz,
Austria, shows how complete production by a partner can intelligently
supplement the capacities of the BMW Group, thereby increasing
responsible personnel policy
From an international perspective, the BMW Group is one of the most popular
employers in the world. One of the reasons is that the company takes its social
responsibility towards associates very seriously.
What is more it offers lexible working hours, part-time models, job-sharing,
sabbaticals, temporary periods of employment abroad and a range of initial and
further training programs.
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Production of a car starts with the steel
and aluminium plates cut out of huge
coils weighing several tons.
dies and tooling
Tools and dies are constructed and produced
for the press plant and body shop.
Seats, cockpits, front ends and customer-
speciic components are completed in
advance and fed into the assembly line
engine production
Precise craftsmanship, experience and
state-of-the-art plant technology provide
the foundation for engines of the very
highest standard.
light alloy foundry
Various materials are used for various
requirements. As one would expect, the
casting methods used are highly versatile
and innovative.
Press plant
Here the crude panels cut into shape are
pressed into the right form by means of
high-performance presses.
body shop
Industrial robots put together some 500 metal
components to form the body of a car. In the
process they use joining methods such as spot
and laser welding as well as riveting and bonding.
Paint shop
Up to four layers of paint protect the car from
environmental effects and give the vehicle a
lasting, brilliant gloss.
Experienced, well-trained associates then
complete the painted body shells to produce
premium cars tailored to each individual
The “marriage”
During the inal assembly stage, the customer-speciic body is bolted to
the drivetrain, consisting of the engine, gearbox and chassis: this is
referred to as the “marriage”.
Final assembly
Now the car stands on its own wheels.
The inal parts and body components are
itted in position and the engine is started
for the irst time.
In a inal functional and visual inspection,
specially trained associates ensure that every
car comes off the assembly line meeting the
customary premium quality standards.
Main processes
supreme lexibility for the customer
The BMW Group has optimised its internal processes to such an extent that wishes expressed by the
customer to alter the engine, paint inish, upholstery or special equipment of the car ordered can be taken
into account just six days prior to the start of assembly – without any effect on the delivery date of the car.
Production of axles
Aluminium chassis and suspension
components guarantee excellent
driving qualities but also demand a
high level of production expertise.
Carefully prepared for their journey, the
vehicles then leave the plant by train, truck
or ship to customers in more than 140
countries all over the world.
Components and
The painted body shells are not assigned to a speciic customer order until the start of assembly, when
the cars receive their „identity“ – the individual chassis number. Considering the mathematically possible
number of some 5 x 10 32 versions – that is a igure with 32 zeros – which can be conigured within the
BMW Group’s product range, one can appreciate the individual and demanding character of the so-called
Customer-Oriented Sales and Production Process (or KOVP in short, to use the German abbreviation).
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