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  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Sport Line (10/2011)
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  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Luxury Line (10/2011)
  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Luxury Line (10/2011)
  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Luxury Line (10/2011)
  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Luxury Line (10/2011)
  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Luxury Line (10/2011)
  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Luxury Line (10/2011)
  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Luxury Line (10/2011)
  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Luxury Line (10/2011)
  • The new BMW 3 Series Sedan, Luxury Line (10/2011)
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  • New BMW 3 Series: Center console Luxury Line (10/2011)
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  • New BMW 3 Series: Cockpit Luxury Line (10/2011)
  • New BMW 3 Series: Start button (10/2011)
  • New BMW 3 Series: Front seats Sport Line (10/2011)
  • New BMW 3 Series: Front seats Luxury Line (10/2011)
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BMW has announced that production of the sixth-generation 3 Series has officially begun at its Munich manufacturing facility. The automaker invested around €500 million – over $700M USD – in the plant in preparation for the new model; a move that BMW says secured around 9,000 jobs. A portion of those funds went toward the purchase of a new press that can operate at speeds of up to 17 strokes per minute and process up to 600 tons of steel per day. The automaker says that the machine can handle the equivalent of all of the metal in the Eiffel Tower in just 12 days.

The new technology is part of the recipe that BMW says will allow the plant to produce around 680 units per day in as little as three months from the start of production. That figure will place the plant's total output at over 900 units per day. Surprisingly enough, that volume occurs in a space of just 700,000 square feet across five floors, making for an incredibly dense work space. Hit the jump for the press release.
Show full PR text
A new era begins: production start-up for the new BMW 3 Series at the home plant in Munich.

28.10.2011

Munich. The BMW Group is investing half a billion euros in building the new BMW 3 Series at the Munich plant, where series production launches today.

"The BMW 3 Series is the most important volume-produced model from the BMW Group as well as the biggest-selling model in the entire premium segment. To ensure that the sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series likewise leaves the factory in flawless quality, we have invested around 500 million euros in our Munich home plant. And that means safeguarding 9,000 workplaces," said Frank-Peter Arndt, Member of the BMW AG Board of Management responsible for production, in Munich on Friday.

As series production of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan got under way, Christian Ude, Mayor of Munich, along with Manfred Schoch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the BMW Group, also spoke before a large gathering of employees at the BMW plant in Munich.

"As Munich residents we can count ourselves fortunate that the decision to build the new 3 Series here signals a clear and impressive commitment to Munich on the part of BMW," said Christian Ude. "BMW is not just one of our major employers and corporate tax payers, but beyond that also actively contributes to the wellbeing of the city."

Manfred Schoch added: "Credit for this achievement on the part of the Munich site must also go to the highly motivated and committed employees who invest huge efforts and true dedication into ensuring that this location retains its attractiveness and competitive edge."

The production launch of the sixth-generation BMW 3 Series marks the start of a new era at the Munich home plant. The investments have flowed, among other areas, into innovative production equipment and state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. They form part of a long-term strategy aimed at strengthening the competitiveness and future viability of the Munich plant and thereby safeguarding 9,000 workplaces in the Bavarian state capital. In doing so, the BMW Group is signalling a special commitment to social responsibility at its headquarters.

The production plant in Munich is a firm fixture of the BMW Group's global production network. It acts as the lead plant worldwide for production of the new BMW 3 Series. All regions across the globe will be supplied directly from the home plant to ensure a simultaneous market launch. Furthermore, it was the Munich plant that determined the assembly sequencing and process architecture for the production of the BMW 3 Series on behalf of the entire production network. Thanks to the standardised manufacturing processes and efficient production systems, the ramp-up at the Munich plant will be very short. Just three months after the start of production of the BMW 3 Series Sedan, peak output of 680 units a day will be achieved. Total output at the plant will then exceed 900 vehicles per day.

Munich plant sets benchmarks for modern car construction.

Its location within the city presents the BMW Munich plant with some special challenges. The complex production infrastructure, set out across a total area of some 700,000 square metres, calls for extremely high density and means that the most important volume-produced model of the Bavarian premium manufacturer is built on up to five different floors. The smooth coordination between production, logistics, transport and administration within such a confined space is an achievement that ranks as a tour de force in modern-day automotive construction worldwide.

State-of-the-art facilities for innovative vehicle production.

To ensure the utmost precision and efficiency, new production structures were created for all the manufacturing areas.

Building the sixth generation of the BMW 3 Series thus benefits, for example, from a new large press. At 17 strokes per minute, this installation counts among the most advanced in the world. It achieves throughput of 600 tonnes of steel per day and develops press forces of 650 to 2,500 tonnes. In a matter of 12 days, then, this high-performance facility processes a similar amount of steel as went into the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The new production infrastructure also ensures the highest possible economy of space and optimal material flows. Beyond that, the high-tech press enables an improvement in quality and efficiency.

Latest-generation robots are at work in the body shop and paintshop.

For the production of the BMW 3 Series, the old, low-rise body shop had to be demolished to make way for a completely new production building. At the same time, numerous new robots were installed, some of which had previously been operating at the Leipzig plant. Synergies such as this make a noticeable contribution to cutting costs and ensuring the sustainable use of resources. In addition, latest-generation laser robots and advanced bonding robots are being used. This modern, low-temperature process is now being used on the BMW 3 Series for around twice as many operations compared to its predecessor, in part replacing conventional spot welding. The innovative technique significantly improves sealing and corrosion prevention.

The stiffer body of the new BMW 3 Series offers significantly enhanced driving dynamics, comfort and safety, even though it is up to 45 kilograms lighter than its predecessor.

In the paintshop, new robot facilities have been installed for seam sealing, flange sealing and undersealing. There is also a new foaming machine for firewall sound insulation. This feeds the sound-insulating material into the cavity, where it is foamed. The result is significantly improved sound insulation between the engine compartment and the passenger cell, making for a noticeable enhancement of interior comfort.

High production efficiency thanks to modular product and process architecture.

In the assembly shop, meanwhile, standardised modular product and process architectures ensure high productivity and variability. The production process of the new BMW 3 Series systematically applies the BMW Group strategy of multi-version production on the same main assembly line. In other words, different variants of a model series are simultaneously built on the same production line. With these innovative production processes, new manufacturing facilities and cutting-edge technologies, the Munich plant sets exemplary standards for sustainable and eco-friendly production. Among the modernisation measures is also the reconstruction of the logistics, goods inwards and commissioning centre to ensure efficient material supply to the assembly line.

Clean production: manufacturing processes now virtually free of non-recyclable waste.

With the new BMW 3 Series, BMW has succeeded in implementing production processes that practically eliminate non-recyclable waste and reduce the generation of solid waste, wastewater and emissions almost to zero, as well as cutting noise and vibration to a minimum. Non-recyclable waste has now been whittled down to some eight grams per vehicle.

Furthermore, over 60 per cent of vehicles leaving the plant are transported or delivered by rail. With such highly efficient resource management, the Munich plant also marks a milestone for vehicle manufacturing in terms of clean production. Another key priority of the Munich plant is to cultivate good neighbourly relations. Thus great care is taken, for example, to protect local residents from noise generated by the production plant. Noise abatement measures include the use of innovative silencers, ventilation equipment and sound-absorbing cladding, as well as optimised transport logistics. Paintshop odours are avoided thanks to state-of-the-art filtering and regenerative thermal oxidisers. Beyond this, all production processes are subjected to continuous monitoring, which includes assessing the impact on local residents.

Munich home plant is the birthplace of the BMW Group.
Production at the Munich home plant goes back all the way to 1922. Today, around 9,000 staff from more than 50 nations are employed there. In 2010 alone, almost 206,000 vehicles rolled off the production lines in the heart an urban residential area with minimal impact on the neighbourhood and the environment.

The "Today for Tomorrow" scheme has been implemented at the Munich plant. Its aim – particularly from a demographic viewpoint – is to design the workplaces in a highly ergonomic way that takes account of the requirements of a workforce that is increasing in age.

The Munich plant is an integral part of the BMW Group's global production network and the lead plant for the new BMW 3 Series worldwide. In addition to the core facilities of the body shop, paintshop and assembly lines, the Munich plant also encompasses a laboratory, a press shop, engine construction and toolmaking, as well as interior equipment and seat manufacturing. As such, it brings together the most diverse skills and competences of vehicle production in unique and exemplary fashion.

Production currently comprises the BMW 3 Series, BMW petrol engines, and high-performance power units for BMW M models as well as Rolls-Royce. Press tools and body parts are also manufactured for the Group's global production network. To date, more than 8.5 million vehicles have been built at the Munich home plant.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 51 Comments
      Where's the cheese?
      • 3 Years Ago
      My co-worker owned an E46 3er (literally had the whole office gather around his car when he bought it new) and always filled it up with 89 octane when he should've used 91. He always let the service indicator go into the red zone before even booking a service appointment. He also thinks he's a mechanic and tries to remove the cover off the inline engine so he could "fix" things by himself. And then when his car finally has had enough of his antics and wants to be towed to the service center, he goes on about how BMWs are horrible and they're unreliable. I would tell him off but his wife makes such good lasagna when they have dinner at their place.
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      The wagon can't get here soon enough!
      Rollk
      • 3 Years Ago
      Whoa; just noticed the steering wheel on the M Sports package. Pretty sick
      ShutoSteve
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey so I know this is entirely off topic but people know I comment here a lot so here goes. My girlfriend is a design director for marketing at a BMW dealership. In theory, we could have gotten a new 335i at cost like she wanted to, with a discount onto that as well. Somehow though, I convinced her that a 2 door, 15 year old Mazda RX-7 FD is a better car. Now even I myself disagree with that notion - while more fun to drive possibly, it certainly lacks the space, comfort and usability of a 3Series Sedan. It is however a 2 door coupe with twin sequential turbos and 4 seats, in a right hand drive format. How the hell did I ever get so lucky to convince my girlfriend to do this? At any rate, sorry to veer off topic, but thats my 3er story for the day. A fine car - but I ended up with an FD. Go figure haha.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        tipdrip215
        • 3 Years Ago
        Nice failed attempt to conceal yourself, Sophia.
          trevor-k
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tipdrip215
          @ shutosteve......... ahhhh no the CTS does NOT compete with the 3 series the ats will. CTS = 5series and A6
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tipdrip215
          [blocked]
          ShutoSteve
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tipdrip215
          GM4Life just uprated "herself" because no one else would. How ironic. Even if the ATS did cut into 3 series sales, you should realize that it is the CTS that competes with the 3, not the ATS.
          Where's the cheese?
          • 3 Years Ago
          @tipdrip215
          I feel like taking a Louisville slugger to her head and then bury the body out in Mexico...right next to a GM factory churning out Escalades. I bet this chick doesn't know that BMW actually builds all its SUVs in the States, in North Carolina while GM has a lot of their stuff built outside the country. I'm sorry to break to you girl but GM outsources jobs...
      desinerd1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Have they fixed the reliability issues that plague the whole BMW lineup?
      durrknievel
      • 3 Years Ago
      My 12 year old E46 is not bad at all for a 12 year old car. Find a shop you trust. Never go the stealership except for the occasional small part. Buy other parts off eBay. Do what work you can yourself (in the last few months: alternator, window regulator, banging out a body panel in the last few months). Sure cooling system stuff ends up being a couple grand a year (LOL) but who gives a crap for a car that cost me $12K and will last to 250/300K no problem. My car is about to roll over 150K miles and drives better than any new car made today. (Save a Miata or something else German.) That said, I'm a bit scared of the Bimmers that are going to be a lot harder to work on yourself.
        LesPaul1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @durrknievel
        I have an e46 as well. It's a great car and with a little maintenance here and there, it'll last forever.
        pickles
        • 3 Years Ago
        @durrknievel
        Today I was driving our 2002 325it after driving our '06 Sienna for months. I have to say, for a nine year old car, that BMW has zero rattles and feels as tight, swift and brilliant as it did when we got it at 2 years old. Quite phenominal. The other day I was in a friends' 4 year old Forester- rattled like a can of rocks. I'd be nervous about a new BMW with all the technocrap added in, yet if they build them as well as the E46, it's going to be legendary again.
        Carbon Fibre
        • 3 Years Ago
        @durrknievel
        I'm personally looking for an E46 M3... $oon. :/
      tipdrip215
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like the more pissed off look in the front, but why does the 3 have to bloat up more every time it gets a redesign? Bigger ain't always better.
        Zoom
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tipdrip215
        It's lost 66 pounds.
        Alex
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tipdrip215
        "why does the 3 have to bloat up more every time it gets a redesign?" - have you ever looked at the data that shows the average body weight (and the resulting body volume) of people in America? Do that. It will answer your question. Small hint: it is still increasing.
          Susan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Alex
          That is why Airbus introduced the A380: to fit the new modern American passenger. In the hull, they can also transport rhinoceros and other tonnage cargo.
      RetoLift
      • 3 Years Ago
      IDK where you all get this idea that BMW's are unreliable. Have you ever owned one? Have you ever worked on one? Coming from someone who has owned a significant amount of them they are NOT unreliable. They have there issues like any car (high pressure fuel pumps, cooling systems on my non-M e46's) but when maintained properly they will outlast most other cars on the road. I love my current M3 and will be buying a F80 M3 when it comes out.
        speed12sil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RetoLift
        Really? HPFP is an issue just like any other car? I don't see another manufacturer getting slammed with class-action lawsuits for the HPFP like BMW is.
        OptimusPrimeRib
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RetoLift
        Tell that to my friend who bought a 2002 745Li a year ago. He has already spent more on repairs than he paid for the car. He now wishes that he listened to me. Sure is a great car. Then it's working of course.
        Agent55
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RetoLift
        There are always going to be a small minority that make noise like the they're the majority. I love my E46, and even if it were an unreliable car (which mine is most certainly not), I may still consider one because the feel is unparalleled. The battery is in the friggin' trunk, that's how obsessed BMW is with chassis composure.
        desinerd1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RetoLift
        yeah, but if you look at data collected by CR from tens of thousands of owners, it paints a different picture. And yes, I do own one. I dropped it off for repairs this morning because there was smoke coming out of the hood.
          desinerd1
          • 3 Years Ago
          @desinerd1
          Well Alex, how do I know your data is reliable. Perhaps you are lying just to prove your point. CR collects the data from it's subscribers. I know because I have filled it out twice myself. You didn't spend a cent on repairs, because it comes with a warranty. The real question is how many did did it need repairs. Our warranty expired in April and our X5 has been in shop 4 times since then. Repairs haven't cost us a cent either because we got third party extended warranty, which we got thanks to warning on CR.
          Alex
          • 3 Years Ago
          @desinerd1
          I also drive one (a 2009 E90) and I had 0 issues so far and didn't spent a single $0.01 on its maintenance or any other mechanical work. And please don't mention CR, J.D. Powers or any other "random number"-generating agencies unless you actually have a proof that their data is 100% reliable.
        Susan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RetoLift
        2002 530i, manual transmission, basic cluster, no nav or phone: uber reliable to date. If you buy a lot of crap in your car, of course it will give you trouble over time.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Susan
        • 3 Years Ago
        You bought an M3 with auto? It's a bit rough to say you were asking for trouble, but in a way you were.
        Agent55
        • 3 Years Ago
        That's a bummer... but I still have to give you **** for buying an M3 with an auto.
      Mazdaspeed6
      • 3 Years Ago
      Announce a car, then build it in the following few months, not years (i'm looking at you Chevy Camaro, volt)
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      No thanks, I'll keep my e46, sports package.
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