BMW Invests Big Bucks To Prep Factory For i4 EV

DEC 12 2018 BY MARK KANE 7

BMW invests €200 million in Munich plant to handle i4 production

BMW decided that the upcoming BMW i4 (based on the BMW i Vision Dynamics concept) will be produced from 2021 in its headquarters – in the Munich plant in Germany.

To make that happen, BMW needs to invest around €200 million ($226 million), to adapt the facility for another model (on top of BMW 3 Series, 4 Series and M4). That comes on top of more than €700 million already invested in the past three years (expansion of the body shop and the assembly and building a completely new paint shop).

The idea to produce several models of different types (conventional ICE, plug-in hybrids and all-electric) in the cramped Munich plant maybe saves some cost and adds flexibility (in case of market developments), but it also brings new challenges:

“The integration of the BMW i4 requires extensive measures, especially in body shop and vehicle assembly. The body concept of the vehicle differs significantly from the architectures of the models previously produced in the Munich plant. For example, the high-voltage battery of the BMW i4 in bodywork requires an almost completely independent floor assembly including rear triangle.The task of the planning specialists is to design the complexly linked production lines so that the more than 1,000 robots can not only produce the bodies of the BMW 3 Series, 4 Series and M4 every minute, but also the special body of the BMW i4.

The integration of the BMW i4 also poses assembly challenges. And here too, among other things, the battery plays an important role. In order to be able to install the high-voltage accumulator in the vehicle, the planners have to accommodate extensive and space-intensive conveyor and system technology in the already cramped Munich workshop.

In addition, the BMW i4 brings a considerable amount of effort to the logistics and material supply of the plant. Many components of the i4 differ from the components of conventional vehicles. This in turn means additional component variants and thus an increasing number of goods flows to be controlled.”

BMW i4 expected (unofficial) spec:

  • BMW i4 80 sDrive (for rear-wheel drive)
  • BMW i4 80 xDrive (for dual motor all-wheel drive)
  • 80 kWh (plus 60 kWh version)
  • 5th generation eDrive platform for BEVs will be offering ranges between 550-700 km (340-435 miles)
BMW i Vision Dynamics and Harald Kruger, chairman of the board of management for BMW.
26 photos
BMW i Vision Dynamics BMW i Vision Dynamics concept. The production version will launch in 2022. Will this be the last pure BMW i car? BMW i Vision Dynamics BMW i Vision Dynamics BMW i Vision Dynamics - Image Credit: InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept BMW i Vision Dynamics - Image Credit: InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney BMW i Vision Dynamics - Image Credit: InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney BMW i Vision Dynamics - Image Credit: InsideEVs / Tom Moloughney

Source: BMW via Green Car Congress

Categories: BMW

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7 Comments on "BMW Invests Big Bucks To Prep Factory For i4 EV"

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The 5th generation, wow.
Well the first 4 were hardly memorable, maybe that will change.

Having to share an apparently cramped production facility with other models like that makes i4 (supposedly BMW’s Model 3 fighter) sound like a bit of a sideshow for BMW. Surely BMW takes Model 3 seriously at this point?

I would not be surprised to find out that right now they don’t take the Model 3 seriously and are still deluding themselves with fairy tales about the demand dropping a lot once Tesla eliminates the order backlog. Maybe they really have seen the light, maybe they haven’t. We can’t tell based on publicly available information.

Moving forward, we’re going to see some car companies put themselves into very bad positions through this kind of nonsense. The disruption is just getting started. Time to buckle up.

They should just make the i4 and iX3 together with the i3 (and a few other EV models) forgetting completely that awful thing called I-Next… i4 looks very good. Hope they don’t change the design too much.

The i3 requires a manufacturing plant that is setup for carbon fiber.

They have to do something about the design. That kidney Grill in the front looks horrible. The rest of the car looks okay.

I see BMW is leading with their excuses about how hard it will be to build in Munich. One wonders why they wouldn’t optimize their plan and build in a factory more suitable to i4 production. Oh wait; they really don’t WANT to build the i4.
Got it.