FRANKFURT – BMW announced on Wednesday that it will be converting its German factories to build electric cars and components and moving internal combustion engine manufacturing to plants in Austria and England as part of a broader move to low-emission cars.
Factories around the world are demanding investment in next generation cars as electric vehicles gain a foothold with consumers and governments accelerate the decline of the internal combustion engine.
Germany unveiled a € 3 billion program to promote low-emission cars on Wednesday, and the UK announced it would ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans from 2030.
“By the end of 2022, all of our German factories will produce at least one fully electric car,” said Milan Nedeljkovic, BMW board member responsible for production, in a statement on Wednesday.
The BMW plant in Munich, which currently produces four-, six-, eight- and twelve-cylinder internal combustion engines, will be converted to the next generation of electric vehicles by 2026 with an investment of 400 million euros.
BMW said eight- and twelve-cylinder engine production will be relocated from Munich to Hams Hall in England, and other engines will be made in Steyr, Austria.
Bavaria, where BMW is based, will receive the lion’s share of the investment, the automaker said. The BMW i4 electric car is being built in Munich, a fully electric version of the 5 and 7 Series. The recently introduced iX (see above) is manufactured in Dingolfing and an electric X1 in Regensburg.
According to BMW, the number of employees in the factory in Dingolfing who manufacture drives for electric cars will double to 2,000.
The BMW plant in Leipzig will start manufacturing the Mini Countryman. The plants in Regensburg and Leipzig are being prepared for the production of battery modules.
BMW will improve its cost structure by 500 million euros by the end of the year.