BMW says it will pause production at its Munich plant for six weeks to upgrade the facility for the arrival of the i4 on the assembly line.
The German company has confirmed no vehicles will be produced between the “end of the late shift on 23 July and the start of the early shift on 7 September”. During this time, the firm will implement “numerous structural and remodelling measures” before the fully electric i4 goes into production in 2021.
The factory currently produces the 3 Series Sedan and 3 Series Touring, with the upcoming new M3 likewise set to be built at the Munich facility. BMW says the production interruption has been “planned and prepared for since early 2019”.
“We are gearing up our Munich plant for the future. Once remodelling is finished, we will be able to produce vehicles with diesel, petrol and hybrid drivetrains, as well as the fully electric BMW i4, all on the same line. This will allow us to respond flexibly to customer demand,” said Robert Engelhorn, plant director.
BMW says integrating the new i4 into the existing production system “will be a major challenge” since the high-voltage battery makes the newcomer’s body concept different to that of the models previously built at the plant.
Still, the company says about 90 percent of the existing production systems used in the body shop can be “integrated and enabled” for future i4 production.
“Confined structures make any remodelling and installation measures at Plant Munich particularly challenging. Old systems have to be removed, and new ones installed and put into service, in very tight spaces within six weeks. This takes meticulous planning and a lot of creativity,” explained Engelhorn.
Interestingly, certain areas of the plant, such as the engine production facility, will continue to “operate at full scale” to secure supplies for the global production network.
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