BMW has broken ground for a new plant in Debrecen, Hungary. The plant is expected to be completed in 2025, when it will debut the production of BMW’s new fully electric Neue Klasse vehicles. At a ceremony where the first foundation stone was laid, BMW AG’s board member for production, Milan Nedeljković, said, “Plant Debrecen will set new standards in highly innovative vehicle manufacturing. This plant is state-of-the-art in terms of flexibility, sustainability, and digitization in the entire automotive industry.”

BMW is using the Debrecen plant to rethink the automotive production process, according to Nedeljković, who added, “In BMW production, our strategic vision is the BMW i-Factory with its three dimensions: lean, green, and digital—and we are going to implement it perfectly in our new plant.” This “perfect implementation” will result in zero CO2 emissions, according to BMW, because it won’t be using any fossil fuels in the production of vehicles. “We will not use oil or natural gas and will source any electricity that’s needed purely from renewables,” said Nedeljković. “Our plant in Debrecen is the first in the world to deliver CO2-free vehicle production.” According to Nedeljković, these changes will make a hefty impact on BMW’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2030.

Well, that covers the lean and green portions of BMW’s strategic vision, but where does digital fit in? BMW explains that “each individual stage of manufacturing is simulated and optimized with absolute precision. In particular, the collaboration with the U.S. company Nvidia and the use of the jointly developed Omniverse planning software is making planning not only more accurate and faster but also far more collaborative.” Omniverse? Nope, not Joytopia, this is a different one. But it would certainly be cool to tour the plant virtually in BMW’s Metaverse, am I right?

Plant Debrecen will sit on nearly 1,000 acres of land and is estimated to produce 150,000 vehicles per year. It is expected to make a large positive impact on the city of Debrecen, in addition to balancing BMW’s production among its American, Chinese, and European markets. The BMW Training Center at Plant Debrecen is expected to open two years before the plant, in late 2023. All eyes will be on Plant Debrecen as it leads the industry into a new age of vehicle production!—Mike Bevels

Images courtesy of BMW.





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