BMW steps up global production of EVs, to invest 800 million euros in Mexican plant

Investment in Mexican production site for integration of fully-electric models of Neue Klasse and construction of local high-voltage battery assembly.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 11 Feb 2023 Views icon4152 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

The BMW Group is accelerating its ramp-up of e-mobility and poised to gain even more momentum with its next vehicle generation, the Neue Klasse (New Class). It estimates the share of 50% of the company's worldwide sales of fully electric vehicles could be reached earlier than 2030.

The German carmaker is investing in expansion of its international production network to achieve this. The plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico will produce fully-electric models in the future and is setting up its own high-voltage battery assembly for this purpose.

“We are systematically gearing our production network towards electromobility. In Mexico, we are investing 800 million euros in our plant and creating around 1,000 new jobs,” said Milan Nedeljkovic, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production, in San Luis Potosi.

Nedeljkovic continued: “The first cars of the Neue Klasse will come off the production line at our plant in Debrecen, Hungary, starting in 2025, followed by the main plant in Munich. We will achieve additional volumes by integrating the Neue Klasse at Plant San Luis Potosí from 2027 onwards.”

The company only recently announced an investment of US$1.7 billion in the expansion of its Spartanburg production site in the US. This includes a billion dollars for preparations for production of EVs  at the company’s US plant and $700 million for construction of a new assembly centre for high-voltage batteries in nearby Woodruff. By 2030, the BMW Group aims to build at least six fully-electric models in the US.

EVs complement production programme in Mexico

Of the 800 million euros investment in Mexico, 500 million euros is earmarked for construction of a new assembly centre for high-voltage batteries, located on the plant grounds in San Luis Potosí. The new assembly centre spans an area of 85,000 square metres. More than 500 additional employees will work there, producing next-generation batteries for fully-electric vehicles.

“With this new investment, our plant in San Luis Potosí will play a central role in BMW Group's transition to electromobility. The company is increasing its commitment to Mexico and its stake in our facility, not only due to its strategic location but, above all, to a solid work team, which, in less than four years after starting operations, already produces three models that supply 74 global markets and stand out for their quality,” said Harald Gottsche, President and CEO at BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosí.

The BMW Group's plant in Mexico currently produces the 3 Series, 2 Series Coupé and the new M2, in some cases, exclusively for the global market.

At the plant, which went on stream in 2019, around 3,000 employees already produce the BMW 3 Series, 2 Series Coupé and the new M2 – in some cases, exclusively for the global market. The plant is designed to be highly flexible, ensuring only minor adjustments are needed in the body shop and assembly to incorporate the new vehicle architecture. A special feature of the Neue Klasse is that the high-voltage battery is directly integrated into the vehicle structure. The assembly in San Luis Potosí is therefore being expanded to integrate this new process into operations. A second shift will begin at the plant in April, adding another 500 new jobs. A total of about 1,000 additional employees will then be working at San Luis Potosi.

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