New electric MINI Countryman begins sustainable production at BMW Plant Leipzig

  • BMW Plant Leipzig adds all-electric MINI Countryman, aligning with MINI’s electrification goals.
  • Continuous upgrades boost capacity, introducing night shifts and expanding the workforce.
  • Plant Leipzig’s battery self-sufficiency and sustainability commitment underscore its pivotal role in BMW’s electrification strategy.

BMW Plant Leipzig shows off advanced capabilities as it kick-starts production of the all-electric MINI Countryman

BMW Group Plant Leipzig is now producing the all-electric MINI Countryman. This development is a pivotal part of MINI’s broader objective to achieve full electrification by 2030. As such, the company is introducing two electric variants: the Countryman E with 150 kW and the more powerful all-wheel Countryman SE ALL4 with 230 kW.

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Plant Leipzig boasts a versatile production line hosting four models with three distinct drive types. This lineup spans the BMW 1 Series and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (inclusive of the plug-in hybrid version). It also includes BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, and now, the MINI Countryman in electric and ICE iterations.

The plant’s journey to accommodate heightened demand and production volumes began in 2018. It involved continuous upgrades in departments like the bodyshop, paintshop, assembly, and logistics. This overhaul positions the facility to produce up to 350,000 units annually, a notable surge from its previous capabilities.

Driving this surge is the MINI Countryman, expected to escalate production to nearly 500 units a day by 2024.

This uptick translates into job security for existing employees and the addition of up to 900 new faces in vehicle production. To meet this demand, the plant is ushering in night shifts in assembly, commencing in September and allowing for round-the-clock operations in three shifts.

A defining feature of Plant Leipzig is its self-sufficiency in high-voltage battery production, covering cell coating, module production, and battery assembly. This capability has expanded since 2021, contributing not only to the MINI Countryman Electric but also to other BMW models produced elsewhere.

Sustainability is at the forefront of these developments, with the introduction of resource-saving painting processes for the fully electric MINI Countryman. This innovation, marked by an overspray-free method, not only broadens the colour palette but also slashes resource usage and reduces CO2 emissions.

Markus Fallböhmer, Head of Battery Production at the BMW Group, commented:

“We are in the middle of the transformation to e-mobility. Starting this year, Plant Leipzig will carry out every stage of our in-house high-voltage battery production process. It’s our next great step forwards.”

The plant is further advancing sustainability goals by converting burner technology for contrast roofs into a bivalent system. This is capable of running on hydrogen or gas. As the automotive industry charts its course towards electrification, Plant Leipzig stands as a tangible testament to this transformative journey. Every stage of the car’s lifecycle must be sustainable for emobility to hit the heights we anticipate.

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