Production of BMW’s new 3- and 4-cyl. engines is ramping up at its Hams Hall, U.K., plant, and more than 1 million components will be machined at the plant for the first time this year.
The investment, part of £750 million ($1.15 billion) that has been spent across BMW’s U.K. manufacturing sites, ensures Hams Hall, 120 miles (190 km) northwest of London, remains capable of producing the next generation of engines and secures its long-term future.
Engines, as well as machined components manufactured at Hams Hall, contribute to a range of cars, including the Mini – a new Clubman model will go on sale in a few weeks – as well as the new BMW 7-Series launched this month.
Plant Director Markus Fallboehmer says the transformation of the facility has been extensive.
“Over the last few years we have completely redeveloped our two main production areas and installed over 600 brand new pieces of equipment and machinery,” Fallboehmer says in a statement.
“While a high level of technology and automation ensures our plant remains a state-of-the-art facility, the ergonomics of the workstations where we have more manual input have been carefully thought through and adjusted to suit each individual member of the team.”
BMW says it also has made a large investment in the workforce through training programs and opportunities for people to learn new skills and take on new job roles.
“We have trebled the number of apprentices training with us to ensure we have a strong, skilled workforce for many years to come,” Fallboehmer says.
Development of the site is part of BMW’s global strategy for engine production. Hams Hall and plants in Germany and Austria are producing the same new family of next-generation engines.
Ilka Horstmeier, who heads BMW’s global production network for engines and electrified powertrains, says the 3-, 4- and 6-cyl. engines have a standard design, a high number of similar parts and a uniform process for manufacture.
Production of a small number of new engines began at Hams Hall last year. BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5L 3-cyl. gasoline engines are hand-built exclusively at Hams Hall on a special production line for the BMW i8, the automaker’s first purpose-built, plug-in hybrid sports car.
Since its opening in 2001, more than 3.5 million engines have been produced at Hams Hall.