History of the BMW Group Plant Munich
The story began in 1916 with the construction of aircraft engines in Munich Oberwiesenfeld. Today's Munich plant was built 1922. After the Second World War began, in 1948, after six years break again the production of motorcycles and three years later automobiles: the first large sedans from the 500 series and small cars such as the Isetta. With the BMW 1500 in 1961 the decisive breakthrough succeeded: the first model of the new Range.
TO CONQUER NEW FRONTIERS.
The world premiere and the start of production of the sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan take place at the BMW Munich Plant. The high-speed servo press is put into operation.
The production of the fifth generation of the BMW 3 Series Touring starts in June.
Production of the new BMW 4 Series Coupé starts in July.
In February starts the production of the BMW M4 Coupé. The BMW Group Plant München winnt the Lean Award in the cathegory „OEM“.
In April, the foundation stone was laid for the new paint with mayor Reiter. While the BMW Group production network produces the 10 millionth BMW 3 series Sedan − the anniversary vehicle is made at the Munich plant − the production of the plug-in hybrid BMW 330e is also started in Munich.
THE NEW MILLENIUM.
In March 2000 the integrated engine storage (called IMOLA) was put in operation at the Munich Plant. Basis for this new storage capacity is a sophisticated engine logistic. IMOLA permits perfect customer orientation and adherence to engine delivery dates.
In 2001 and 2003 the Munich Plant received the Plant Award in Gold for the "Best Car Plant in Europe". The result of the study conducted by the US J.D. Power and associates Market Research Institute about the quality of automotive plants again certifies the premium quality of the BMW production.
In May 2004 the 7 millionth car is produced at the Munich Plant.
In 2005 the BMW 3 Series celebrates its thirtieth anniversary and the fifth generation of the most successful BMW Series is produced.
MINI E models are produced at the BMW Munich Plant within the framework of "Project i".
The 8.000.000. car is produced at the BMW Munich Plant in the summer of 2009.
INVEST IN THE FUTURE.
With the Munich Plant being situated in town, it is particularly important to maintain good and close relationships with the local population. This is why BMW establishes a Neighbourhood Forum in 1994, communicating the special position of the Plant right in the middle of town as well as the environmentally friendly production processes.
Since 1999 the Z8 has been assembled at the Munich Plant in a specialist production shop established especially for this outstanding sports car. Presenting this dream machine at the Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW proudly introduces a truly outstanding model in the exclusive segment of high-performance sports cars.
NEW AND RECONSTRUCTIONS.
BMW’s plant network continues to expand, with production being decentralised step-by-step. Plant management is adjusted to reflect this development process, the Munich Plant now being run not only by a Technical Plant Manager, but also by a Commercial Manager.
On July 20th the original building at the Munich Plant, Building 11, has to make way for structural changes on the premises. This was the building which Gustav Otto constructed in 1913 for the then Otto Werke, one of the companies that preceded BMW AG.
The first Community Festival is held at the Munich-Milbertshofen Plant in June, more than 70,000 guests attending this Festival of Nations.
Although the Development Departments have been moved out of the Munich Plant step-by-step to the new Research and Innovation Centre, the only way to reach production targets at the plant, given its restricted location in town, is to optimise and automate the production processes.
PREMIERE OF THE 3 SERIES.
Production facilities at the Munich Plant are re-configured for the first 3 Series. Benefitting from this conversion, BMW is able for the first time to build cars specifically to the customer’s wishes right from the start in the Bodyshop.
End of production of BMW’s large six-cylinder models (2500, 2800, 2.8 L, 3.0 S, 3.0 Si, 3.0 L and 3.3 Li), following a total production volume at the Munich Plant of more than 220,000 units from 1968 - 1977. This also serves to re-arrange BMW’s plant structure, the Munich Plant from now on building the engines for all BMW cars as well as the BMW 3 Series.
In November the 500,000th BMW 3 Series leaves the Munich Plant.
BMW’s plants are adjusted to the new production concept, the Munich Plant taking on a new face after a series of conversions and new building projects. Inter alia, these conversions comprise the South Gate on Dostlerstrasse originally built in 1934 and now torn down.
BREAKTHROUGH OF THE „NEW RANGE“.
The first model of BMW’s New Range, the BMW 1500, enters production in mid-1962, these sporting four-doors midrange saloons setting the foundation for BMW’s economic success in the market.
The 100,000th New Range BMW is built towards the end of August. Up to this point in time the Munich Plant, since starting production again in 1948, has built slightly more than three-quarters of a million cars and motorcycles.
Production activities are moved for the first time from Munich-Milbertshofen to Dingolfing and Berlin, the former GLAS Plant in Dingolfing serving initially to build components for BMW cars and motorcycles. Production of BMW motorcycles in Munich ends after 46 years, with all BMW motorcycles ever since coming from Berlin, where series production starts in September 1969.
SUCCESS IN THE POST-WAR ERA.
BMW production cars were built at the Eisenach Plant until 1941. Now, for the first time, BMW cars are built in Munich. The first model built here, the BMW 501, is basically an evolution of the pre-war BMW 326.
Reaching 30,000 units a year, motorcycle production at the Munich Plant achieves its first milestone. Then, as a result of the "motorcycle crisis", sales slump in just three years to 5,400 units, workers at the Munich Plant having to fear for their jobs.
Production of the BMW Isetta starts in April. The success of this "motocoupé" built under licence from ISO in Milan secures jobs at the Munich Plant, workers previously employed in motorcycle production now switching over to the Isetta.
WAR AND RESTART.
The BMW 801 double-radial power unit is developed at the Munich Plant and is built here and at two other production plants up to the end of the year with a production volume of approximately 30,000 units.
The Plant loses a lot of its regular workforce when employees are drafted for the German Army. Since motorcycles and aircraft engines built by BMW are absolutely essential for wartime operations, forced workers are employed at the Munich Plant as of 1941.
Starting in December 1941 and mainly in the course of 1942, motorcycle production is moved from Munich to BMW’s Plant in Eisenach. The intention is to provide capacities at the Munich Plant for the production of aircraft engines.
Following the collapse of the National-Socialist regime, parts of the plant facilities are confiscated by the Allies as reparation. But the Company is able to start work again with an emergency production scheme using the remaining machines. At this time the Munich Plant mainly builds agricultural and farming equipment, bicycles, pots and pans.
Launching the R 24 single-cylinder motorcycle, BMW starts series production of vehicles in Munich following World War II. In accordance with the rules imposed by the Allies, engine capacity of this motorcycle is limited to 250cc. The first machine coming off the production line goes to the employees in a lottery.
CAREER IN HARD TIMES.
Apart from inline aircraft engines, BMW also produces radial power units, initially rather small in size, for sports aircraft. This is followed by engines built under licence for commercial airliners, and the first large radial engine developed by BMW, the BMW 132, comes off the production line in 1934. Remaining in production in Munich until 1945, this power unit also featured in the legendary JU 52 is built in a growing number of different variants.
Annual production of motorcycles reaches the figure of 10,000 units for the first time.
In December 1938 the 100,000th BMW motorcycle comes off the production line in Munich-Milbertshofen. The Company hires an in-house doctor for the first time, a Health Care Centre and a Children’s Day School being opened a year later in the former mansion of the Plant Director.
On May 20th an Extraordinary General Meeting of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG approves the sale of engine construction, aluminium casting operations and the name of the company to Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG (BFW). Ever since this transaction, BMW has been based in Lerchenauer Strasse to the east of the Oberwiesenfeld District (today the Olympic Park) in Munich.
Production of the first BMW motorcycle, the R 32. Introducing this machine, the plant formerly manufacturing aircraft engines and power units for installation in various vehicles and drive systems takes the big step in becoming a manufacturer of complete road-going vehicles.
The BMW Plant in Munich-Milbertshofen grows significantly up to the late 1920s. From the mid-20s up to the end of the decade, the total plant area grows from 140,000 to approximately 216,000 square meters (346 - 534 acres). In the same period the built-up areas increase in size more than 2 1/2 times, a running-in track for motorcycles forming the northern border of the premises.