BMW will also build ‘Neue Klasse’ cars in Regensburg

BMW will also produce Neue Klasse (New Class) electric cars at its Regensburg plant. The car manufacturer confirmed this but has not yet provided further details or possible models. However, the rumour mill has already started.

Image: BMW

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 digitalisation, electrification and circularity – and we are already gearing up for this in Regensburg. 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,” says Plant Manager Armin Ebner.

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, unconfirmed information, 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 iX1 and iX2, as well as 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 channelled into the Regensburg and Wackersdorf locations,” the press release states. With the BMW iX1 and BMW iX2, we will continue to inspire customers around the world with fully-electric driving pleasure from Regensburg,” says Ebner. Europe is a vital market for the iX2.

The high-voltage batteries for the electric vehicles from Regensburg are produced at the Leibnizstraße site, near the vehicle plant. Over 100,000 high-voltage batteries were made there last year from cells supplied by the company. For the production of the Neue Klasse, the battery technology will be converted from prismatic cells in modules to round cells in cell-to-pack design. In addition, the existing battery assembly near the vehicle plants will be supplemented by a large, centralised battery assembly facility. As reported, this 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 centre will enter into regular operation in Wackersdorf from mid-2024 onwards,” says Ebner. The new test centre will cover an area of more than 8,000 square metres 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.

In 2023, a total of 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 are planning on recruiting another 600 for our production.” BMW is looking to hire people in areas with skill shortages, such as maintenance and electronics.


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