My Adventures in Germany

Germany Trip-1, November 1994,

BMW AG - Factory Tour, Munich, Germany


BMW 3 Series, 4 door and 2 door compact, Petuelring 130, 80788 Munich


1993 Production was 533,000. 950 of the 3 Series cars produced each day

900 engines built each day , 6 cylinder, 8 cylinder, 12 cylinder , M3 and M5 engines are produced in Munich. The 4 cylinders and diesel engines (1700 each day) are produced in Styria, Austria.


The tour began in the metal or body part fabrication area. The steel arrives in large rolls where it is then cut into individual sheets.

Four to seven pressing operations (with unique dies) are required to make each body part. Each die that is inserted into the hydraulic press weighs 25 tons and is the size of a king-size bed (3 ft thick) and costs $325,000 each. There is a large overhead crane that is used to transport the dies into the presses. The Munich factory uses over 500 dies to make all the required body parts. The hydraulic presses used to stamp out the body parts are two stories tall and 20 ft wide and weigh 300 tons. There are 6 or 7 presses lined up in a row with automated feeders that pick up the sheet steel and transfer it to the next pressing operation.

Workers are used to remove and stack the finished parts. The hydraulic presses use 600 - 2000 tons of pressure to stamp out the body parts. They process over 100 tons of steel per day.


The next part of the tour included a video showing the paint process and the body welding process. BMW affixes a microwave transponder to each body that transmits data on each cars particular needs and changes. It is also used to track material flow through the entire system. It takes 7 1/2 hours to weld the entire body. The welding process is 95% automated using 275 Kuka robots.

The paint process is completely automated with the exception of the 2nd primer coat. It takes 10 hours to paint the entire car. There are 2 shifts at the plant. They have teams of 4 persons who do the assembly process. It takes 1min and 20 seconds to install the windshield. The windshield has the rubber adhesive installed on it, then it is delivered to the workers who lift it and put it in place.


Each assembly station uses around a 1 min and 30 second cycle time.

They currently use over 500 suppliers. There are over 20 thousand parts per car. 15% of the cars weight is from plastic parts. It takes around 2 hours to build the engines. Each engine is tested for 10 minutes. The engine and transmission are installed as a unit in 1 minute and 25 seconds. They have one person in a room doing the PROM burn for each cars unique engine, transmission and Brake system controller. The cars utilize a plastic intake manifold and a plastic gas tank located in front of the rear axle for safety. The total assembly time for a BMW is around 30 hours. This compares with 18-20 Hrs. for U.S. and Japanese cars. After being assembled the car is driven off the line and into a room where it is run on a dyno to check engine, transmission and braking functions. The operator using a computer monitor to prompt him through the individual tests.

The BMW tour was the longest (2 1/2 hrs) and the most complete. The only thing missing was the engine assembly.

The tour guide mentioned that special tours (ie. engine assembly) are available upon request.

Factory photos courtesy of BMW AG.


Here is the information on making reservations to visit the BMW Factory and Museum in USA and in Germany.


July 2002

BMW Zentrum Website in South Carolina USA

For Germany factory tour information. In the USA call BMW North America at 1-866-868-7269


Petuelring 130

80788 Munich Germany

(Across the street from the Olympic village)

To contact BMW directly in Germany

From Jan 2001:BMW Info Service" <>

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your interest in a visit to BMW.

The central BMW unit is the Munich plant. To sign up for a guided tour,

please call +4989/382-23639 (up to five persons) or -23306 (groups of

more than five persons) or contact the plant by fax +4989/382-25878 .

The BMW Regensburg plant can also be visited.

Contact: phone

+49941/770-2012 and fax +49941/770-3550 .

There is another factory in Bavaria that you can visit, at Dingolfing,

BMW´s largest plant, where the 5 and 7 series are made.


+498731/76-27505. Fax: +498731/76-22382.

All factory tours are free of charge.

You should also reserve some time for a visit to the BMW Museum. It is a

large museum, where you can learn all about BMW past, present and future.

The BMW Museum is located next to the BMW AG headquarters in Munich,

adjacent to the Olympiapark at Petuelring 130, 80788 Munich ( a metro

station is 100 meters from the entrance ).

The telephone number is +49 1805

235 353 and the fax is +49 89 382 43600.

Daily opening hours are 9 a.m. to

5 p.m. There is an entrance fee.

Reservations are only necessary if whole

groups want to visit.

We hope to you will enjoy the time at BMW.

Kind regards

BMW Customer Information

Link to the  BMW USA Web Site

Link to the  BMW Germany Web Site

Copyright © 1998-2010 SJM Autotechnik™ , all rights reserved.

Go back to SJM Autotechnik™ main page.

About Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Links Customer Service Safety Information Home