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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

BMW Group Announce Expansion of Production and Development at Steyr Engine Plant.

BMW Group has announced that from 2025 onwards, the next generation of e-drives will be created in Steyr, Austria. Both production and Development will take place on-site – at BMW Group Plant Steyr. In addition, the company will invest around one billion euros in competence development between now and 2030. The significant increase in capacity, which the company announced at an event on 20 June, will ensure the Steyr plant in Upper Austria remains the BMW Group’s leading drive-train location.

“This plant has developed and manufactured combustion engines for our BMW and MINI brands for more than 40 years. As a result, one out of every two BMW Group vehicles worldwide already has a ‘heart’ built in Steyr. From 2025, we will also develop and produce the next generation of e-drives here,” explains Milan Nedeljković, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for production. “Years of experience and a wealth of drive train expertise make BMW Group Plant Steyr the ideal location for the sustainable mobility of the future,” he added at the project launch.

At the event announcing the project, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer added: "The manufacturing industry is an important partner in strengthening Austria as a business hub, creating jobs and driving innovation. Furthermore, it is an enabler for an effective and sustainably successful fight against climate change. In all these respects, BMW Group in Austria is already today a model company. It functions like a powerful engine for a sustainable future for our country, proving once again that climate protection and economic growth are not contradictory, but can go together."

Alexander Susanek, managing director of BMW Group Plant Steyr, gave an overview of what e-drive production means to the location: “This step is, without question, the most important milestone since the groundbreaking in 1979. We will produce more than 600,000 e-drives per year – while maintaining high production capacity utilisation for diesel and petrol engines. As a result, by 2030, around half of our 4,400 employees will work in electromobility. This is also an enormous step towards securing jobs here at the BMW Group site in Steyr for the long term.”

Going forward, Steyr will produce all core components for the innovative, highly-integrated e-drive train: the rotor and stator, the transmission, the inverter and the housing. These components will then be installed on two new assembly lines.

To perform these tasks, existing production areas will be refurbished and new spaces created: A two-storey production hall will house two assembly lines for e-drives, including transmission assembly. The new building will also be used for manufacturing power electronics with clean room technology. In addition, a second new building will expand the logistics areas. As a result, the total production area will be expanded by about 60,000 square metres. Investment in production will total around 710 million euros by 2030.

As a development location, Steyr revolutionised the diesel engine and has continued to optimise it ever since. Now, this success story will be repeated for e-drives: In Steyr, a new high-performance e-drive is being developed that will establish a new performance class. “We are strengthening the Steyr location by continuing to expand expertise in electric drive technology. For the first time, an entirely new drive train will be developed here in Austria,” underlined Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development.

The development location will be investing around 230 million euros in these new high-performance e-drives between now and 2030. A third of the 700 developers in Steyr already work in e-mobility. By 2030, this number will increase to around 90 percent.

Plant Steyr’s transformation is taking place in line with the principles of the BMW iFACTORY – Lean. Green. Digital. While “lean” and “digital” represent the use of state-of-the-art production methods for high efficiency, flexibility and quality, the “green” dimension aims to ensure a responsible approach to the environment. In this context, BMW Group Plant Steyr will meet one hundred percent of its energy requirements from renewable sources no later than 2025 – by using green power and heat from regional biomass. This ensures that sustainability begins well before the customer use phase. Plant director Alexander Susanek is delighted: “With our e-drives from net carbon neutral production, we are creating the best-possible conditions for carbon-neutral mobility from 2025.”

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