BMW has officially opened a production plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where it is manufacturing the “brand’s most successful model series: the BMW 3 Series Sedan.”
Vehicles produced in the plant, which the German company has invested more than $1-billion U.S., will, according to Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production, be delivered “to customers worldwide.”
Which is the sort of thing that global manufacturing companies do.
BMW is no stranger to Mexico; it opened its local purchasing office there in 2008.
According to Dr Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network: “We have a strong supplier base we can build on in Mexico, having sourced high-quality, technologically sophisticated and innovative products from here for more than ten years. Every BMW Group vehicle today already contains at least one part from one of our 220 Mexican suppliers. Our new plant will benefit from short supply routes and the high level of flexibility this gives our supply chain.”
Considerable attention is being paid to sustainable operations. For example, there is a solar energy plant at the facility that covers 70,000-square meters and is part of the objective to have 100% CO2-free electricity for the factory. The plant has the lowest water consumption per vehicle produced of any BMW plant in the world, and it is the first BMW plant to have a paint shop that generates no wastewater, as the fluid is reconditioned and reused.
The factory is highly automated, using things from collaborative robots to “Smart Maintenance Assistant Software,” which allows proactive, preventive maintenance to be performed. Paper is all-but eliminated, replaced by digital tools, such as screens and monitors throughout the facility.
There are 2,500 employees at the San Luis Potosi site. When the ramp is complete the factory will have a 175,000-vehicle annual output.