BMW Investing €400 million in German EV Plant
BMW AG is investing about €400 million ($443 million) in its Dingolfing, Germany, manufacturing plant in preparation for production of the iNEXT electric vehicle.
Source: BMW. Camouflaged iNEXT cold-weather testing.
The flagship SUV/crossover vehicle is due to launch in 2021. BMW began building prototypes of the EV this summer at a pilot manufacturing plant in Munich.
When retooling for the iNEXT is completed, Dingolfing will be capable of producing a mix of fully electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and models with stand-alone combustion engines—including 5, 7 and 8 Series cars—on a single assembly line. Last year the facility produced nearly 330,000 vehicles.
The body shop—including a 3-story annex where the powertrain and body are joined—already has been updated to accommodate the iNEXT . New production lines are currently being built for the vehicle’s complex floor assembly, which will house the battery.
In addition to EV-specific assembly steps—such as installation of the battery and corresponding cables—the iNEXT will require special processes for its autonomous driving functions. This includes cleaning systems and test stations for various sensors, BMW notes.
Another area of the factory will assemble the high-voltage battery and electric motor. Other components for the iNEXT will be sourced in part from another facility in Dingolfing and BMW’s plant in Niederviehbach.
I'm not talking about a plastic Revell model of a '57 Chevy, but a real vehicle, one that rolls off an assembly line in 1999 with another 99,999 just like it right behind. Is it possible, or is this just a fantasy of the marketing department at Elmer's?
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According to Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470: “Three of my top goals were to create a body-on-frame vehicle with sweeping off-road performance and unibody-like on-road capability, and, of course, it had to meet the Lexus quality standard.” He met his goals. But why would anyone want to bang this vehicle around on rocks?