BMW moves engine production to UK, Austria as German plants go electric

BMW said it will retool its German factories to build electric cars and components and shift manufacturing of combustion engines to plants in England and Austria as part of a broader shift toward low-emissions cars.

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"By the end of 2022 all our German factories will make at least one fully electric car," Milan Nedeljkovic, BMW's board member responsible for production, said in a statement on Wednesday.

BMW's plant in Munich, Germany, which currently builds 4-, 6-, 8- and 12-cylinder combustion engines, will be retooled to make next-generation electric vehicles with a 400 million euro investment until 2026.

BMW said production of 8- and 12-cylinder engines will move from Munich to Hams Hall in England, and other engines will be made in Steyr, Austria.

Plants in Munich, Dingolfing and Regensburg in the German state of Bavaria, where BMW is based, will receive most of the investments.

The BMW i4 full-electric car will be built in Munich; a full-electric version of the 5-series and 7-series cars will be made in Dingolfing, Germany; and an electric X1 will be produced in Regensburg.

BMW said the number of staff at its Dingolfing factory making electric car powertrains, will double to 2,000 workers.

BMW's plant in Leipzig, Germany, will start manufacturing the Mini Countryman in combustion engine and electric versions, and the Regensburg and Leipzig plants are being prepared to make battery modules.

BMW will improve its cost structure by 500 million euros by the end of the year, the company also said.

Factories across the globe are clamoring for investment into next-generation cars as electric vehicles gain traction with consumers and as governments hasten the demise of the combustion engine.

Germany on Wednesday unveiled a 3-billion-euro ($3.56 billion) scheme to promote low-emissions cars and Britain said it will ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans from 2030.

Source: Reuters, Automotive News Europe