The departure of the final internal combustion engine (ICE) from BMW’s Munich production line signifies the conclusion of an era in Germany. While BMW’s decision does not represent a total abandonment of combustion engines, it is undeniably a highly symbolic step in that direction.
The Munich factory of BMW, a location that has long been associated with the powerful sound of combustion engines for more than sixty years, is currently experiencing a significant shift. The plant, having commenced production of the electric i4 in October 2021, is poised to transform into a central hub for BMW’s forthcoming electric vehicles. Included in the highly anticipated lineup are the electric variants of the 3-Series, namely the i3 and i3 Touring, as well as an exciting new version of the i4. The models mentioned belong to BMW’s Neue Klasse of electric vehicles (EVs). It is anticipated that a total of six models will be introduced within the timeframe of 2025–2027.
Although this transition holds great importance, it is worth noting that BMW’s association with ICE (internal combustion engines) is still ongoing. The production of these engines will now be carried out in the United Kingdom and Austria. The company’s choice is a reflection of its cautious approach to fully converting to electric vehicles by 2030, a goal that many competitors in the sector have embraced. In envisioning the future, BMW foresees a harmonious coexistence between electric and combustion engines. This strategic approach allows them to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of global markets and consumers.
The shift in production represents more than just a mere relocation; it signifies a significant transformation for BMW’s dedicated workforce. The Munich plant’s 1,200 employees are poised for retraining, redeployment, and the acquisition of new roles, guaranteeing that their expertise will progress in tandem with the company’s strategic trajectory. The move effectively highlights BMW’s unwavering dedication to its workforce and its ability to adjust in a constantly evolving automotive industry.
The electric vehicles being produced by BMW are not solely confined to Munich but are also emerging from other factories. The iX, i5, and i7 models are currently being produced at the Dingolfing manufacturing facility. On the other hand, the iX1 and iX2 electric SUVs are being meticulously assembled at the Regensburg plant. BMW’s extensive investment in e-mobility encompasses various developments, such as the establishment of a new battery assembly site in Strasskirchen and the creation of a battery test center in Wackersdorf. The testing of high-voltage batteries and other e-drive components at these facilities showcases BMW’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of its electric vehicle technology.