BMW Shifts U.K. Engine Production As Brexit Looms

BMW Group Plant Hams Hall, located in Birmingham, England produces engines, and in 2018, the facility had output of 377,055 units. Since the site came online in 2001, more than 3.5 engines have left its doors, and today, the modular units are found in BMW models like the i8 and MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4. A portion of the engines leaving Hams Hall were previously shipped down to South Africa for installation in X3 SAVs at the Rosslyn factory as well, but with Brexit on the horizon, those orders have stopped.

Set to leave the European Union and the trade agreements that come with membership on October 31, and with no firm agreement in place, Britain is expected by many to give up its EU status after years of political bickering followed an unexpected vote in 2016. Without EU status, the exports would no longer be importable tax-free, thus influencing the price of the vehicles for which they are destined.

Current BMW production chief Oliver Zipse, who some are favoring for CEO once Harald Krüger departs in the next few months, said, “Hams Hall (engine plant) doesn’t build any South Africa products anymore, which is of course, bad for the UK,” but continued that it’s, “not a huge amount.”

In the interim, a BMW spokesperson said output volume at Hams Hall would remain stable this year, as the plant built more engines bound for Spartanburg, South Carolina, the site of BMW’s largest production facility, which also builds its most popular current model, the X3.—Alex Tock

[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]

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