BMW Group has announced the expansion of its production network in Europe with the commissioning of a new facility close to the town of Debrecen, Hungary. The group will invest approximately €1 billion in the new facility, which it states will offer a production capacity of up to 150,000 units a year and create over 1,000 new jobs in the area.
Europe is said to be the most important market for the BMW Group. In 2017, it accounted for almost 45% of all vehicle sales, with 1.1 million units sold. Up to the end of June 2018, the BMW Group grew in many markets across the continent, with vehicle deliveries totalling more than 560,000 units – a year-on-year rise of 1.2%. The decision to expand its European production network follows the group’s principle of balanced global growth, and is said to represent the next logical step in the implementation of a group strategy labelled ‘NUMBER ONE > NEXT’.
Harald Krüger, Chairman of the BMW AG Board of Management, stated, “The BMW Group’s decision to build this new plant reaffirms our perspective for global growth. After significant investments in China, Mexico and the USA, we are now strengthening our activities in Europe to maintain a worldwide balance of production between Asia, America and our home continent. Europe is the BMW Group’s largest production location. In 2018 alone we are investing more than €1 billion in our German sites to upgrade and prepare them for electric mobility.”
“In the future, every BMW Group plant in Europe will be equipped to produce electrified as well as conventional vehicles,” added Oliver Zipse, BMW AG Board Member for Production. “Our new plant in Hungary will also be able to manufacture both combustion and electrified BMW models – all on a single production line. It will bring greater capacity to our worldwide production network. When production commences, the plant will set new standards in flexibility, digitalisation and productivity.”
BMW Group has been operating a representative office in Hungary since 2004 and stated that Debrecen is the ideal location for an expansion of its production network; offering very good infrastructure, suitable logistics connections and proximity to the group’s established supplier network. The group enjoys long-standing, positive relations with suppliers in the country, and in 2017, materials and services worth €1.4 billion were purchased in Hungary.