BMW’s ‘New Class’ also built in Regensburg

BMW will also produce its ‘Neue Klasse’ (New Class) electric cars at its Regensburg plant. The car manufacturer confirmed this but has not yet provided further details about possible models.

As BMW states in a current press release, the initial preparatory work for producing the new platform at the Regensburg plant has already been completed. “With the Neue Klasse, the company aims to set new standards for digitalization, electrification, and circularity, and we are already gearing up for this in Regensburg, says Plant Manager Armin Ebner.

“During the production break over the New Year, we completed the first major modifications, including for our vehicle assembly. Further extensive structural measures will be implemented at the turn of the year 2024/2025,” he added.

iX1 and iX2?

Production of Neue Klasse EVs in Regensburg will start in “the second half of the decade”. BMW has not yet officially provided any further details. According to earlier information (still to be confirmed), the compact SUV known internally as the NB5, the successor to the current iX1, is expected to roll off the production line in Regensburg.

The current iX1 and iX2 and the corresponding combustion models are already built in Regensburg, so it makes sense that BMW will also manufacture the corresponding successor models there. Ebner wants to increase the number of units with the two current BEV models.

“By the end of 2024, a total of around €200 million will be channeled into the Regensburg and Wackersdorf locations,” the BMW press release states. “With the BMW iX1 and BMW iX2, we will continue to inspire customers worldwide with fully electric driving pleasure from Regensburg,” says Ebner. Europe is a vital market for the iX2.

Battery supply

The high-voltage batteries for Regensburg’s electric vehicles are produced at the Leibnizstraße site, near the vehicle plant. Over 100,000 high-voltage batteries were made there last year.

For the production of the ‘Neue Klasse,’ the battery technology will be converted from prismatic cells in modules to round cells in a cell-to-pack design. In addition, the existing battery assembly near the vehicle plants will be supplemented by a large, centralized battery assembly facility, which, as reported, will be located in the municipality of Straßkirchen.

According to BMW, the Wackersdorf site will also become an important contributor to the shift to EV production: “The first deliverables from our new battery testing center will enter into regular operation in Wackersdorf from mid-2024 onward,” explains Ebner.

The new test center will cover an area of more than 8,000 square meters and be integrated into the site’s existing building structures. High-voltage batteries and other electric drive components for future BMW Group models will be tested there at a very early stage of development, well before the start of production.

Increasing production

In 2023, 238,301 new BMWs were built in Regensburg, and the plant manager expects higher numbers in 2024. “Since we added a night shift in autumn of last year, our daily production has already increased by about 300 vehicles, to 1,300 currently,” says Ebner.

“We already hired more than 500 new staff in 2023. For 2024, we plan on recruiting another 600 for our production,” he concludes. BMW is looking to hire people in areas with skill shortages, such as maintenance and electronics. The BMW Group’s core staff at its Regensburg and Wackersdorf locations in eastern Bavaria currently totals around 9,250 employees.

Plant manager Armin Ebner at the production launch of the iX2 in November last year /BMW


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