BMW commences Debrecen Plant upgrades

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Previously, BMW announced that it will be upgrading its plant in Hungary, allowing the Debrecen facility to accommodate the demanding needs of building the German carmaker’s electric vehicles.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What vehicles will be manufactured in BMW's Debrecen plant?

    According to the German automaker, the Debrecen plant is slated to house production of its Neue Klasse EVs.
  • What upgrades will be done to the Hungarian plant?

    BMW said that it will now have an EV-ready press shop, body shop, paint shop, and assembly.
  • In a recent press release, BMW has announced that it has started the said upgrades to the Debrecen factory, preparing it for the upcoming production of the Munich-based automaker’s fully electric Neue Klasse in 2025.

    “Plant Debrecen will set new standards in highly innovative vehicle manufacturing. This plant is state-of-the-art in terms of flexibility, sustainability, and digitalization in the entire automotive industry,” said BMW AG Board Member for Production Milan Nedeljković at the foundation stone-laying ceremony.

    The said plant is poised to “play a key role in the transformation to electric mobility for both the BMW Group and its production network,” Nedeljković said.

    Parts that will make the Debrecen plant EV production-ready include a press shop, body shop, paint shop, and assembly. Its annual production is estimated to be around 150,000 units of purely electric vehicles per year.

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    Additionally, BMW has set clear sustainability and production targets for its new facility. According to Nedeljković, “CO2 emissions per vehicle manufactured will be zero — proving that with sufficient determination and innovativeness, automotive production can indeed be sustainable. We will not use oil or natural gas and will source any electricity that’s needed purely from renewables. Our plant in Debrecen is the first in the world to deliver CO2-free vehicle production.”

    The majority of the energy required to build BMW’s EVs will be drawn from extensive photovoltaic systems directly on the plant premises. The rest will be sourced regionally from 100-percent renewables.

    Furthermore, the updated Debrecent site will use innovative technologies that do not yet exist in this form in the market, especially in the paint shop. Here, the paint will no longer be dried by means of gas furnaces. Instead, new, electrically powered technologies will be integrated into the future production system.

    Another key element in sustainable production that BMW looks to implement in the renovated factory in Hungary is consistent circularity. BMW said that wherever possible, production materials and resources will be reused.

    On top of becoming a CO2-free car plant, BMW plans to equip the Debrecen facility with some of the most advanced technologies such as digital planning tools, such as the Omniverse planning software.

    plant-debrecen-1

    “This fascinating technology is revolutionary. Our future plant in Debrecen is already manufacturing Neue Klasse vehicles today – virtually,” quipped Nedeljković.

    Plant Debrecen will use numerous digitalization tools as well. Artificial intelligence (AI) applications will support quality assurance in a range of ways and optimize processes in smart and predictive maintenance.

    The spectrum of digital applications will also include edge computing, data analytics, 5G location technologies, and autonomous smart logistics systems with AI functions.

    Finally, BMW said that recruitment for roles in the Debrecen facility is picking up speed.

    “But despite all the technologies, innovations, and high tech, a car plant is only ever as good as the people who work there,” Nedeljković added.

    As the next phase of construction begins, the company is offering jobs for specialists and people who are skilled in the construction of buildings and systems as well as facility management. Further employees are being recruited for HR, Finance, Purchasing, IT, Planning, and Controlling. Positions in production will be advertised at a later stage.

    Photos from BMW

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