The BMW plant in Steyr is to start producing electric motors on a large scale by 2025. 600,000 electric motors should roll off the production line every year. The BMW Group will invest one billion euros in the site by 2030, where a new electric motor is also to be developed. Of course, combustion engines will continue to be produced on a large scale – because even if the EU introduces a ban from 2035, other regions of the world will be slower.
Combustion engines for BMW and Mini cars have been developed and built at the BMW plant in Steyr for 40 years. According to the company, every second BMW vehicle currently has an engine made in Steyr. In the previous year, 1.1 million units were manufactured, BMW Steyr Managing Director Alexander Susanek calculated in an interview with APA, 350,000 of them diesel, the rest petrol engines, some of which are also used in plug-in vehicles.
So far only housings have been produced in Steyr for electric cars. That is about to change: From 2025, electric motors are to be developed and built here. A pilot series is to begin in mid-2024, with production starting in 2025. Gradually, 600,000 electric motors are to be manufactured annually. In addition to the previous four assembly lines on which petrol and diesel engines are built and which will remain in place for the time being, two more will be added for electric vehicles.
Beginning of a new era
In Steyr they want to develop a new generation of electric motors. Technical details of the “high-performance drive” have not yet been revealed, only the investments: “In the development area alone, we will be investing 230 million euros in the coming years,” says Susanek, and 730 million in flow into the expansion of the site. By 2030, around half of the 4,400 employees will be working in the field of e-mobility, and the lion’s share of 90 percent of the around 700 developers. The number of employees should remain stable in the medium term, but there will be shifts in the direction of electronics. Susanek is convinced that the step “to go from a pure combustion engine location in the direction of e-mobility” will secure production and the location in the long term.
Even if electromobility is developing rapidly, he assumes “that in the coming years we will also be producing combustion engines at a high level”. Because the transformation will not take place at the same speed all over the world. Combustion engines would still be needed after 2035 “and we will then have two solid pillars”. (apa, dpa)