- Highest standards of flexibility: All drive train variants on one line
- Successful transformation of BMW Group plants towards emobility and digitalisation
- Half of Dingolfing's production volume will be electrified by mid-decade
- Nedeljković: “setting ourselves ambitious goals for the most sustainable production”
July 29, 2021: Dingolfing.Standard production of the fully-electric BMW iX* began today in Dingolfing. The plant in Lower Bavaria now produces vehicles with all drive train variants, i.e. combustion-engine vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fully-electric models, on a single line. Milan Nedeljković, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Production: “The launch of the BMW iX* marks another milestone in our expansion of electrification and demonstrates our production network's successful transformation towards electromobility and digitalisation.”
The BMW iX* is being manufactured at the BMW Group's largest European production plant on an assembly line with the flexibility to build a mix of BMW 5 Series, 7 Series and 8 Series models. To handle this flexibility and variety of drive trains, vehicle assembly in Dingolfing has been expanded and refurbished.
The BMW Group has invested a total of more than 400 million euros in producing the BMW iX* at the Dingolfing vehicle plant. Many of the remodelling and structural measures required for the BMW iX* are already benefiting future generations of the BMW 7 Series and 5 Series that will come off the production line in Dingolfing in the coming years. Fully-electric variants have also been announced for both model ranges.
Half of production volume already electrified by mid-decade
With the BMW iX* and other PHEV models at Plant Dingolfing alone, the BMW Group plans to double the percentage of electrified vehicles produced this year compared to 2020. By the middle of the decade, half the vehicles produced in Dingolfing will be electrified. The new model will play an important part in this. “The BMW iX* will already be one of the highest-volume model at the location by next year,” according to Nedeljković. The BMW iX* will be followed in the autumn by the BMW i4*, which will be built in Munich. At the end of next year, all German plants will be producing at least one fully-electric vehicle.
Broad know-how: Vehicle and e-drive production on site
Production of the BMW iX* in Dingolfing benefits from broad know-how and expertise in the technologies located at the site. Close interaction between these different areas enables a high level of in-house activity and short lines of communication, as well as ensuring optimum production technology overall. The fully-electric heart of the BMW iX* – the highly integrated e-drive and fifthgeneration battery, as well as the complete electric axle are produced on site, together with the Dingolfing component plants. Production capacity will be systematically expanded and, from 2022, Dingolfing will be able to produce e-drives for more than half a million electrified vehicles.
BMW iX* as trailblazer
The BMW iX* introduces a multitude of innovations to the product and production processes at the plant – especially in the vehicle's electrical system architecture, software, digital services, connectivity and automated driving functions. As a result, the vehicle plays an important role as a trailblazer and is making Dingolfing “e-car” and “smart-car ready” as the BMW Group's primary plant for the luxury class.
The BMW iX* is also an important trailblazer in production, bringing future technologies into the production system – such as digital methods for employee training, automation of logistics processes, virtual commissioning and validation of driver assistance systems.
Christoph Schröder, head of BMW Group Plant Dingolfing: “As the primary plant for the luxury class, our location produces the BMW Group's technology flagship. It is once again proving itself as a pioneer for the mobility of tomorrow and as the industry leader in key future areas of automotive activity, such as electrification, digitalisation and sustainability. In this way, the BMW iX* is continuing the successful transformation of the BMW Group location in Dingolfing that began long ago.”
Special focus on sustainability
The topic of sustainability is firmly anchored throughout the company. A particular focus is on improving our carbon footprint – especially in production of electric vehicles. Independent auditors have confirmed that the greenhouse gas potential of the BMW iX xDrive40* is around 45 percent lower than that of a comparable Sports Activity Vehicle with an internal combustion engine. “We are already the sustainability benchmark for our industry. But we will continue to invest in resourcesaving technologies and set ourselves ambitious goals for the most sustainable production,” underlined head of Production Milan Nedeljković. The BMW Group takes a holistic approach to reducing CO2 emissions and minimising resource consumption that covers the entire value chain, including production as well as the supply chain and use phase.
The BMW Group has already succeeded in lowering resource consumption per vehicle produced by more than half between 2006 and 2020. CO2 emissions have been reduced even more significantly – by as much as 78 percent. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions per vehicle produced by another 80 percent by 2030. “To achieve this, we have made some changes at Plant Dingolfing and implemented a series of new measures,” says plant director Christoph Schröder. For example, the BMW iX* is produced exclusively using regional and directly sourced green power from two hydroelectric power plants located on the Isar and Lech rivers. The entire plant, like all BMW Group locations, will also be net carbon neutral from this year, through the use of corresponding offsets and certificates.
Other aspects of sustainability range from energy-efficient installations to packaging planning, through transport logistics and recycling, up to and including topics such as biodiversity and water management. Plant Dingolfing is therefore Subject Series production of BMW iX* gets underway at Plant Dingolfing able to achieve a recycling rate of more than 90 percent and an even higher recoverability rate of over 99 percent. The plant's own wells meet over 40 percent of its water needs, thereby helping conserve the region's drinking water reserves. The BMW Group has already reduced its water consumption by more than 30 percent overall since 2006.
BMW iX* as catalyst for change: Active shift in competence. The BMW iX* creates a need for additional training beyond the extensive experience and expertise that is already available. It is accelerating the shift in competence already taking place within the production network and helping prepare the workforce for the demands of a new era. In this way, employee development across the entire company is being geared towards digitalisation and e-mobility. As part of the biggest training offensive in the company's history, 75,000 staff are being trained in future areas of activity.
In Dingolfing alone, more than 4,000 employees have moved to jobs with strong future prospects since 2012. A current example of this is the creation and expansion of the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production at the location, which doubled its staff numbers last year from 600 to 1,200. This number is likely to increase to over 1,900 by the end of the year.
Analogue love, digital connection
Another aim with the MINI moments was to use digital integration to intensify or enrich the analogue experience. This “analogue love, digital connection” approach runs throughout the vehicle. Indeed, an additional digital level has been integrated below several of the analogue surfaces. Examples here include the table inside the vehicle (which initiates the MINI moments when the MINI Token is placed in one of the slots), the lamp with OLED display and the LED matrixes in the interior under a layer of textile or in the front and rear ends of the car. These areas of the vehicle bring together the analogue and digital worlds into a new and immersive experience. And all of this can now be experienced in a real-life vehicle, thanks to the work of the BMW Group's modellers.
Bringing together the BMW Group's model-building expertise.
As an innovative space concept, the MINI Vision Urbanaut was designed from the inside out. The designers created the spacious interior experience before developing the exterior, using floor plans, pieces of furniture plus wooden scale models to provide an indication of size. Over the course of the project, augmented reality was employed to create a digital model, which was then systematically optimised. The physical model of the MINI Vision Urbanaut was then put together from start to finish at the MINI Design studio in Munich. Here, the BMW Group gathered all the expertise available to transform virtual visions into physical reality. Upholsterers, modellers, mechatronics engineers, programmers, paint specialists and others worked alongside the designers to turn a vision into a physical model of almost prototype quality. After all, the MINI Vision Urbanaut is not a static model, but a driveable and steerable one. Every part has been specially designed, precision-manufactured using cutting-edge tools and crafted by hand. The high degree of artistry inside the MINI Vision Urbanaut is highlighted by an interior design that is reminiscent of a modern living space. The construction of the model therefore extended from a classical vehicle build via furniture-making all the way to programming and smart high-tech integration.