BMW also readies Mexican plant for its ‘Neue Klasse’

BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosí is gearing up for production of the ‘Neue Klasse’. Construction of a local high-voltage battery assembly has now begun, along with expansion projects for the body shop, assembly, and logistics areas. A total of €800 million will be invested in expanding the Mexican production site.

The ‘Neue Klasse’ will also be produced in Mexico from 2027 onwards. In late 2025, the Sports Activity Vehicle model will be launched at the new BMW Group Plant Debrecen in Hungary as the initial derivative of the Neue Klasse, while the Sedan will ramp up in Munich in 2026.

Just one year later, additional production capacity will be available in Mexico, initially for the Sports Activity Vehicle. The future high-voltage battery assembly at Plant San Luis Potosí, covering an area of more than 80,000 square meters, is key to integrating the ‘New Class’ at the production site.

‘Local for local’

“The battery assembly in San Luis Potosí will be part of our global production network. For our new sixth-generation e-drive alone, we are building five locations on three continents,” explained Milan Nedeljković, board member at BMW AG responsible for Production, at the start of construction in Mexico.

The BMW Group is committed to the ‘local for local’ principle worldwide. “Locating battery factories close to vehicle manufacturing makes production more resilient.”

In line with its “local for local” principle, the BMW Group locates its high-voltage battery assembly facilities worldwide as close as possible to its vehicle plants. In addition to the location in San Luis Potosí, assembly sites for sixth-generation high-voltage batteries are also being built in Debrecen (Hungary), Shenyang (China), Woodruff, near Spartanburg (USA), and Irlbach-Straßkirchen (Lower Bavaria).

“This approach safeguards production, even in the event of unforeseen political and economic developments. Existing locations are also being strengthened, securing jobs. The short distances involved reduce the carbon footprint of vehicle production,” says the press release.

The BMW Group will use its newly developed round cells for the first time in the ‘Neue Klasse’. This leap in technology will boost the energy density of cells by 20% and improve charging speed by up to 30%. The range will be extended by 30%.

Mexican development

Other changes are being made at Plant San Luis Potosí, including integrating battery assembly: Just under 20,000 square meters will be added to the body shop, resulting in a total area of over 90,000 square meters. Assembly and logistics areas are also being expanded by almost 10,000 square meters.

“With this further development of our site, we are also gearing up in Mexico for the launch of the next BMW model generation. As the first premium OEM producing fully-electric vehicles and high-voltage batteries in Mexico, we are at the forefront of our industry and, at the same time, continuing to reduce our environmental footprint,” said Harald Gottsche, president and CEO of BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosí.

BMW Group Plant San Luis Potosí is also stepping up its commitment to skills development, aimed at ensuring employees are highly qualified and prepared for the challenges of the future. Training will include topics such as safety awareness around production of high-voltage systems and the use of robotics in manufacturing processes.

The BMW Group plant in San Luis Potosí started production in 2019. Around 3,700 employees currently produce the BMW 3 Series Sedan as well as the BMW 2 Series Coupé and the BMW M2 models for the global market.

Sustainability

“When it comes to efficient energy supplies, the BMW Group uses site-specific solutions at its locations around the world,” the company claims. “In Mexico, we are planning to expand the photovoltaic systems within the plant to double the output from the solar panels,” said Nicole Haft-Zboril, Head of Real Estate Management at the BMW Group.

“The plan is to generate more than 20% of the electricity we need at the moment directly on the factory premises.” The wastewater treatment plant has also been expanded, with an investment of €3.3 million, significantly increasing the reuse of treated wastewater.

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