Production: Return to the Birthplace of the BMW M3
It was at the Preußenstraße headquarters of BMW Motorsport GmbH in Munich 28 years ago that the company’s then managing director Paul Rosche developed the idea for the BMW M3. Production began just a few months later at the original BMW plant next door. A total of 17,970 units of the first- generation BMW M3 were built here up to 1991. And now, almost 23 years later, production of the iconic sports car – long since guaranteed legendary status – is returning to its birthplace. BMW Plant Munich will host production of the new BMW M4 Coupe, while the BMW M3 Sedan will be built at BMW Plant Regensburg, where 222,293 units of the second, third and fourth generations of the BMW M3 combined have been produced since 1992.
Full integration into the regular manufacturing process.
One of the reasons for the decision to split production of the BMW M3 and BMW M4 between the two facilities centred on the company’s commitment to integrating the two high-performance sports cars into the production processes for their respective donor models. For example, the BMW M4 will be built alongside models including the standard BMW 4 Series Coupe in Munich, and Regensburg is the venue for production of the BMW 3 Series Sedan as well as the new BMW M3. Among the benefits of “mixed” production on a shared line is that the plants can respond quickly to market fluctuations by making adjustments to unit figures as required. As well as efficient production planning and logistics, the essential ingredient in this approach is the single-line system: both M models will be built alongside their respective donor models on the same production line.
Intensive experience-sharing ensures a smooth production start-up.
This will be the first time the Munich plant has handled production of a lightweight design concept bringing together an aluminium bonnet and side panels, CFRP roof and lightweight tailgate in this combination. The bonding facility for the carbon roof in the paintshop is also new to Munich. The intensive sharing of experience with colleagues in Regensburg helps ensure that the employees in Munich maintain an outstanding level of manufacturing expertise when it comes to lightweight design technologies. Indeed, Plant Regensburg can call on many years of experience in lightweight design. As well as production of the outgoing generation of the BMW M3 with its carbon roof, the Regensburg factory has also been responsible for the manufacture of numerous BMW Motorsport touring cars built for race action.