BMW moves engine production to Britain as German factories switch to electric, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BMW on Wednesday said it will retool its German factories to build cars and electrical components and move combustion engine manufacturing to factories in Austria and England as part of a wider transition to low-emission cars.

Factories around the world are clamoring for investment in next-generation cars as electric vehicles gain traction with consumers and governments accelerate the demise of the combustion engine.

Germany on Wednesday unveiled a € 3 billion ($ 3.56 billion) program to promote low-emission cars and Britain announced it would ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars and vans and diesel from 2030.

“By the end of 2022, all of our German factories will manufacture at least one fully electric car,” Milan Nedeljkovic, BMW board member responsible for production, said on Wednesday.

The BMW plant in Munich, which currently manufactures four, six, eight and twelve-cylinder combustion engines, will be retrofitted with an investment of 400 million euros until 2026, to manufacture next-generation electric vehicles, has said the automaker.

BMW said production of eight- and twelve-cylinder engines would move from Munich to Hams Hall in England, with other engines being made in Steyr, Austria.

Bavaria, where BMW is based, will receive the lion’s share of the investment, the automaker said. The BMW i4 electric car will be built in Munich, a fully electric version of the 5 and 7 series will be produced in Dingolfing and an electric X1 will be produced in Regensburg.

BMW said the number of employees at its Dingolfing plant making electric car powertrains will double to 2,000 workers.

BMW’s plant in Leipzig, Germany will begin manufacturing the Mini Countryman, and factories in Regensburg and Leipzig are preparing to manufacture battery modules, the company said.

BMW will improve its cost structure by 500 million euros by the end of the year, the company also said. ($ 1 = 0.8420 euros) (Reporting by Edward Taylor Editing by Michelle Adair)

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