BMW invest over £700m in Mexican production site for Neue Klasse era of cars

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The BMW Group is stepping up production of electric vehicles with the announcement of huge investment in its San Luis Potosí plant. The Mexican location will produce fully electric models for the Neue Klasse range, as well as local high-voltage battery assembly.

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

Over half the Plant San Luis Potosí investment is earmarked for construction of a new assembly centre for high-voltage batteries, spanning an area of 85,000 m2. 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,” said Harald Gottsche, President & CEO at BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosí. “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.”

The plant, which went on-stream in 2019 and has around 3,000 employees, 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.

The company only recently announced an investment of £1.4bn in the expansion of its Spartanburg production site in the US. This includes £835,000 for preparations for production of electric vehicles at the company’s US plant and £585m 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.

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Wesley Doyle is editor of Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International and Stadia. He has over two-decades experience in publishing during which time he has worked at some of the UK’s leading consumer magazine titles in the health and fitness and sport sectors. Wesley is also passionate about cycling and interested in alternative technologies, particularly in transportation, to achieve net zero.

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