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May 18, 2005
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BMW Opens New Plant In Leipzig

  • More than 5,000 Jobs in the Medium Term

  • Initial Investment more than Euro 1.3 Billion

  • Festive Official Opening Ceremony in the Presence of the German Chancellor

Leipzig / Munich - In a special ceremony German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Helmut Panke, are opening the new BMW Leipzig plant today in the presence of the Prime Ministers of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Bavaria, as well as the Lord Mayor of the City of Leipzig.

Pursuing a consistent product and market initiative, the BMW Group has significantly expanded its product range in recent years to now no less than 10 model series. In the process customer deliveries have increased to more than 1.2 million units in the year 2004, with a further increase to 1.4 million units planned by 2008. The new BMW Leipzig plant provides the capacities required for this purpose: The plant is conceived for production in the medium term of 650 cars a day, creating 5,500 jobs on the plant premises at full capacity.

 

In the official opening ceremony Helmut Panke, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, highlighted the significance of Germany for the automotive industry: "Given all of the quality conditions we enjoy in Germany, we remain in a position to build top products of the highest level in our industry. This calls for good training, the right infrastructure, quality and motivation of employees, quality in the supplier industry, a strong heritage, and good, constructive cooperation with employee representatives at plant level."


Photos: BMW

The BMW Group has invested a total of Euro 1.3 billion in the new Leipzig plant. This initial investment was supported by the European Commission granting regional assistance of Euro 360 million.

In addition to its involvement in Leipzig, the BMW Group has invested another Euro 5.4 billion in its worldwide production network since 2001, the year in which the decision was taken in favour of Leipzig. Approximately Euro 4.0 billion thereof has gone into the expansion and ongoing development of the Group's existing plants in Germany.

Panke: "Although today we are focusing on our new plant in Leipzig with an investment of approximately Euro 1.3 billion, one must not forget that since 2001 we have additionally invested three times this amount at other BMW Group locations in Germany."

A significant reason for the choice of this location was the high degree of flexibility achieved for efficient operation of the plant. "Together with the representatives of our associates, we have developed the BMW Formula for Work. Using innovative working time concepts, we are able to achieve maximum flexibility and, accordingly, full capacity at the plant, thus at least in part setting off the higher cost of production in Germany", stated Panke.

Appyling BMW's Formula for Work and the collective wage agreement in the region, production times at the plant may be varied from 60 to 140 hours a week. Panke: "This concept shows that intelligent planning and goodwill on the part of all parties involved still allows successful business operations in Germany even today."

In July 2001 the Leipzig/Halle Region was chosen as the site of BMW's new plant among more than 250 options from all over Europe. The decision taken in favour of Leipzig was based in particular on the fulfilment of the following criteria:

  1. Economic operation and flexibility 

  2. Ideal qualities and location of the future plant premises 

  3. Availability of qualified and well-trained specialist employees 

  4. Utilisation of existing structures in terms of plants, suppliers and logistics already in place 

  5. Infrastructure for transport, supply and waste management 

  6. Connection to the BMW Group's sales and distribution network 

  7. Quick and smooth implementation process

The Leipzig/Halle Region proved to be the best candidate in fulfilling the sum total of these criteria. Proximity to the BMW Group's car production plants in Bavaria and the high density of first-class suppliers in southern and central Germany were essential factors in favour of the location. Another strong point speaking for the Leipzig/Halle Region was the large number of highly qualified people.

(May 13, 2005)


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