Three million BMW motorcycles in 50 years.
BMW Plant Berlin celebrates milestones in its motorcycle history.
On Tuesday, the three millionth motorcycle, a BMW S 1000 RR, rolled off the production line at the BMW Group’s plant in Berlin. The factory in Spandau has been producing motorcycles for 50 years. Since the start of this season, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team has been competing in the Superbike World Championship on motorbikes based on the anniversary model. The team’s riders Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger were guests of honor at the celebration.
For Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad, the anniversary is “the result of hard work and a clear direction that the company, staff and policymakers have pursued consistently.” Over the past 50 years, extensive investments have been made in the Berlin location and the number of jobs has grown almost six-fold. “Mobility on two wheels made in Berlin has been popular with our customers all over the world for half a century. That’s an achievement to be proud of,” said Schramm.
Plant Director Dr. Helmut Schramm emphasized that the success was based on the commitment of the roughly 2,100 staff: “On the occasion of the three millionth BMW motorcycle produced in Berlin, I would like to thank you for your work, your willingness to deliver peak performance and your personal commitment.” The site has highly efficient and flexible structures and “as the lead plant, we also play an important role in BMW Motorrad’s global production network,” explained Schramm.
50 years of BMW motorcycle production in Berlin
BMW acquired the factory in Berlin in 1939, and the production of motorcycle components began soon thereafter. In 1969, the relocation of motorcycle production from Munich to the BMW plant in Berlin was completed. With the setup of an engine assembly and the production of the legendary /5 Series, the operation of the – at this point only – production plant for BMW motorcycles worldwide started. The Berlin site can therefore look back on 50 years of production. The plant’s success today is based on the initial 400 or so people who produced 30 motorcycles a day at the start. Since then, production output has increased disproportionately: In 1975, the 100,000th motorcycle made in Berlin left the assembly halls; by 1980, total production had reached a quarter of a million. And in 2001, the plant hit the milestone of one million motorcycles. Ten years later, the team celebrated the two millionth BMW motorcycle from Berlin. “As of today, three million BMW motorcycles have rolled off the assembly lines of our Berlin plant. There can be no doubt that we will continue the successful track record of BMW Motorrad and our plant,” stated Plant Director Schramm.
BMW Plant Berlin: Backbone of the global BMW motorcycle production
Nowadays, at peak times, motorcycles roll off the assembly lines at 65-second intervals, up to a total of 800 a day. The BMW Group is continuously investing in the expansion of its Berlin plant and in new technologies. In 2018, over 130,000 motorbikes were produced, including around 8,000 ready-to-ship CKD kits for the BMW assembly plants in Thailand and Brazil. The Berlin plant is the BMW Group’s only full plant worldwide for motorcycles, scooters and components. Berlin also acts as the lead plant within the existing international network with production sites in Brazil, Thailand, China and India, which makes it the backbone of BMW’s global motorcycle production.