The Bavarian automaker will reorganize its global production network into plants that make rear-wheel drive cars and facilities that build only front-wheel-drive models, Automotive News reports.
Despite being in a fierce battle for the lead of the premium segment, BMW said that targeting high volumes was not quite its main goal and profitability growth was a little bit more important than sales figures. Therefore, the company aims to cut some of the production costs and to streamline its output operations by improving on logistics and bringing more robots to the assembly lines. “Our aim is to reduce production costs by 5 percent year over year,” Oliver Zipse, BMW’s manufacturing chief, recently said. “Streamlining platform allocation is a crucial element in attaining this goal.”
Of the BMW’s ten full assembly plants, four will build only front-wheel-drive models and five factories will produce just rear-wheel drive cars, Automotive News reports. As an exception from the reorganizing process of its global network, BMW’s plant in Tiexi, China, will continue to make both types of platforms, while all facilities will continue to be able to build four-wheel-drive vehicles.
BMW’s most complex production line is in Regensburg, Germany, a plant which currently builds nine different models based on three platforms, but three years from now, the factory will focus on just front-wheel-drive models, Zipse said. The move will also affect the Leipzig plant and the plan is to convert it to also produce only front-wheel-drive models within four years, but it will keep a dedicated area to build models with the “i” badge, he revealed.
Via Automotive News