By the end of 2027, BMW will no longer manufacture combustion-engined models in the plant in Munich near its headquarters. The premium automaker introduces the production of the revolutionary New Class in 2026 and will gradually fade out the ICE version as the line will be reserved exclusively for the electric range.
BMW broke the news in an official press release stating that the “era of automobiles with combustion engines from Munich draws to a close after 75 years”. As this factory is the parent plant within the group, the transformation carries an intrinsic symbolic value.
“Munich is the beating heart of BMW,” said Peter Weber. “The plant in Munich is innovative and adaptable. As in the 1960s, a Neue Klasse is again laying the foundation, on which our plant is reinventing itself.”
Milan Nedeljković, a Board of Management for Production member, further highlighted this adaptability, emphasizing a substantial €650 million investment in the facility.
BMW assures that vehicle trials are progressing smoothly, with approximately 8 000 employees set to undergo comprehensive retraining for electric car production. The Munich plant, with a current capacity of up to 200 000 cars annually, is poised to be a key player in BMW’s electric revolution. It was also where the automaker made its first plug-in hybrid models from the 3 Series. The first electric model to come from Munich was the i4.
In a strategic move, BMW had already ceased combustion engine production at its primary plant months ago. With this recent decision, it’s evident that Munich’s longstanding legacy of combustion cars will conclude within the next three years. The reorientation will be completed without suspending the current production workflow.
BMW also reported the sale of 376 183 all-electric vehicles in 2023, a staggering 74,4% increase from the previous year. The electric share of total sales reached 14,7%, intending to reach 20% by 2024 and 25% by 2025.
The New Class will be flagged off by a saloon previewed in the Vision Neue Klasse concept during last year’s Munich Auto Show. The transformation also entails a significant shift from platform thinking to a focus on the flexibility of individual components. This increases diversity and accelerates the development process. Six models will be derived from the Neue Klasse.
According to British car magazine Autocar, it won’t take long before the saloon version is joined by a compact cross-over poised to hit showrooms as the new-generation iX3. ‘New Class’ cars will not only be built in Munich but also in Debrecen (Hungary), Shenyang (China), and San Luis Potosí (Mexico).