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BMW Group Plant Munich anniversary celebrations: 100 years young!

+++ 70,000 employees and guests celebrate home plant anniversary +++ Two-day “by employees for employees” program +++ Former employee Willy Astor performs +++ Volunteers work for charity donations +++ Plant Manager Peter Weber: “With this team, the transformation can only succeed!” +++

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Susanne Tsitsinias
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Munich. BMW Group Plant Munich has had two busy days, and that despite the fact that not a single car has been built! To mark the 100th anniversary of the Munich parent plant, the BMW Group invited all employees from the Munich site to the anniversary celebrations along with their friends and family. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, around 70,000 people came and enjoyed an exciting stage program, spectacular driving events and special insights into production.

“Together we can make history! In the past, it is you who have always kept our home plant firmly on the road to success and it is you who will now lead it into the future together,” said Milan Nedeljković, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production. Plant Munich is currently undergoing major renovations for the start of production for the Neue Klasse in 2026, including the construction of three new buildings for the body shop and assembly complete with logistics areas. The head of Production made sure to emphasize: “We are quite literally leaving no stone unturned here, and yet you are keeping the plant up and running smoothly. This ambidexterity is exactly what makes the plant so special.”

Clocking up hours worked for charity donations

 Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, People and Real Estate, also took the time to highlight the great dedication of the BMW workforce as she thanked the more than one thousand volunteers from all BMW locations across Munich who ensured the anniversary went off without a hitch and with such a great atmosphere. The hours the employees put in across both days were not remunerated but were instead donated in cash to five Munich charities.

“The dedication shown by our employees is extraordinary. After all, we not only celebrated our plant anniversary, but also gave a helping hand to many Munich residents in need, raising a total of 150,000 euros for social causes. This reaffirms that we are a responsible employer that also takes responsibility for society. That’s just the BMW way,” added Horstmeier. Representatives from the Münchner Tafel, the Arche, Verein Zivilcourage für Alle, Horizont e.V. and the crisis intervention team at ASB München all accepted the donation vouchers in person from Ilka Horstmeier, Plant Manager Peter Weber and Martin Kimmich, Chairman of the General Works Council.

To symbolize the structural and technological transformation of Plant Munich, the Member of the Board for Production, Plant Manager and Works Council Chair filled a time capsule that will be integrated into the construction area of the new body shop. Construction of the new hall is set to begin imminently. “Despite the new work underway, we will continue to produce more than 900 premium quality BMWs every day at Plant Munich. We all have to show great flexibility and commitment to achieve this, but we see this challenge as an opportunity to shape a successful future for our plant. And there’s no doubt in my mind that, with such a motivated and highly qualified team, the plant’s transformation to e-mobility and the iFACTORY can only succeed,” said plant manager Peter Weber.

By employees for employees

 BMW employees not only handled most of the organization of the BMW anniversary celebrations themselves, but they also designed a diverse program over more than 25 different stations. Whether blues, rock, pop, cabaret or classical music – talent from various BMW locations performed on the two event stages. Plant Munich employees also gave tours of the production halls, presented their workplaces, introduced innovations, and informed guests about ongoing structural changes at the plant.

A former Plant Munich employee treated guests to another highlight: comedian and composer Willy Astor, who in his youth completed his training as a toolmaker at the plant, took to the BMW anniversary stage to delight visitors with his latest show.

Also popular were the shows from the “RedBull Driftbrothers”, the children’s motorcycle course and the driving sessions from the BMW Driving Academy. Plus, guests were able to tuck into a variety of culinary delights at around 30 food trucks as well as in the plant’s very own restaurant.

“It’s just incredible what the workforce has put together for these two days,” says Martin Kimmich, Chairman of the BMW General Works Council. “This reflects the one-of-a-kind BMW team spirit as well as our colleagues’ keen interest in social responsibility. As an important employer for the city located right in the heart of Munich, we were delighted to provide an insight into the transformation of our main plant for the future.”

A good neighbor

As a production site right at the heart of the Bavarian state capital of Munich, the plant also plays an important role as a neighbor. Alongside supporting local associations and organizations in the north of Munich, the company places a great deal of value on maintaining personal dialogue with the plant’s immediate neighborhood. Around 80 neighbors accepted the invitation to attend the BMW anniversary celebrations and were given a guided tour of the plant site.

The “BMW Munich – Urban Production” architectural competition, which was successfully completed last year, also serves to promote good relations and a livable environment. The designs from the two winning firms take the plant’s unique location at the heart of the city into account and aim to make the entire complex visibly more accessible and open to the neighborhood. This vision for the future of the Munich production site lays the groundwork for the development of a big-picture plan beyond 2026.

Both the big-picture plan and the structural optimizations already planned to produce the Neue Klasse help align Plant Munich with the principles of the BMW iFactory for the future: “LEAN. GREEN. DIGITAL.” Together, they guarantee maximum flexibility, outstanding processes, and top integration potential over the coming decades for this special location – the BMW Group’s 100-year-old parent plant.

(Editorial note: The BMW anniversary celebrations were actually held in Plant Munich’s 101st year. When planning started back in 2021, the organizational team were unable to predict whether an event for the originally planned date of fall 2022 would be possible due to potential Covid restrictions.)

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