Following up investment and expansion in places like the U.S., China and Mexico, BMW recently announced plans to construct a new manufacturing facility in Hungary with a yearly production capacity of over 150,000 vehicles. BMW has maintained a representative office in Hungary since 2004, and last year, materials and services purchases in the country totaled over $1,600,000,000.
The site was chosen because of its proximity to various logistical lines, and location within the established supplier network. Strong infrastructure like the type needed to support a high-tech, high-capacity plant is also present, and the local workforce is said to be exceptionally qualified. As far as jobs are concerned, BMW estimates over 1,000 new positions will need to be filled at the future Debrecen, Hungary site, and with the strong multiplier effect the firm’s manufacturing opportunities are known for, many more should also be created to support the new venture in the surrounding area.
Specifics relating to which platforms and vehicles will be made in the Debrecen plant aren’t known yet, but it would make sense to add capacity for models sold in Europe. According to Oliver Zipse, member of the board of management for BMW AG and responsible for production, the continental European market represents some 45% of all BMW sales, or some 1,100,000 units in 2017. With other recent expansions and new ventures taking place in the U.S., China and Mexico in the form of upgraded, enlarged and brand new factories, it only makes sense to follow up and continue bolstering production in Europe.
Additionally, it has been declared that the facility will be able to produce both conventional internal combustion, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric vehicles on the asme manufacturing line. This capability is no doubt made possible by BMW moving towards the use of two platforms for its fifth generation architecture, all of which feature underpinnings that are ready to accept 48-volt electrical systems and the modular, floor-mounted battery packs they require.
The future facility in Debrecen will join some 30 other production and assembly sites which occupy fourteen different countries. As with other facilities that make up the BMW Group Production Network, the Hungarian factory is expected to further enhance the brands reputation for quality and efficiency, while also expanding and strengthening its logistical prowess as a whole.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy of BMW Group.]