The new buildings at the BMW Plant Leipzig are taking shape - the right point to celebrate the topping-out ceremony, today, 30 May. The high point of the ceremony for the pressing facility and the production building for doors, bonnets and tailgates is raising the topping-out wreath and delivering the topping-out speech. The new Minister President of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, Leipzig's Mayor Burkhard Jung and the President of Leipzig District Administration Walter Christian Steinbach, as well as other representatives from politics and local government celebrated the topping-out ceremony with around 300 employees working on the construction project and other guests.

Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW Board Member in charge of production, thanked the companies and employees involved in construction for the work they had carried out to date and praised the positive and committed cooperation with the representatives from the political sphere and local-authority administration: "When we were deciding on a site for this project, it was already clear that Leipzig took a committed and pragmatic approach." This was a significant factor in the decision in favour of Leipzig.

The sum invested in the expansion of this plant - for buildings and production technology - is likely to exceed 100 million euros. Up to now, BMW has invested more than 1.2 billion euros in Leipzig since 2001. Approximately 150 new jobs are projected for this new production complex. The Minister President of Saxony Stanislaw Tillich welcomed this development: "The investment clearly indicates that BMW is committed to Saxony as the Land of the Car and to the pool of highly-qualified skilled employees based in this state. I am very pleased that BMW is creating more attractive jobs and also showing young people that they have outstanding career perspectives in Saxony."

A new pressing facility forms the core of the expansion. The press line is 100 metres long and almost the length of a football field. Starting in 2009, steel sheets will be pressed to form car-body components. At present, these parts are still being supplied fully formed from other sites. A production building for manufacturing doors, bonnets and tailgates is also being constructed as part of the expansion programme for the existing body construction. This is also scheduled to come onstream next year. The Leipzig plant is expanding the level of expertise and capacity on site.

The plant site measures a total of 208 hectares and the new production buildings are being constructed at the north-east of the site, in the immediate vicinity of the current bodywork production building. The complex has floorspace measuring some 26,000 m². A six-stage press with total compressive force of 10,300 metric tons will be used to form more than 40 different components. Steel sheet in the order of 55,000 metric tons is likely to be processed each year.

The new facilities will be designed so that the massive application of force will scarcely be perceptible outside the building. The press facility will be constructed on low-vibration mountings and designed to reduce noise as much as possible.

Another positive effect of the increased production of components at the Leipzig plant is a significant reduction in the resources expended on logistics for materials supply. In future, the plant will require fewer truck deliveries. The BMW Group is therefore making a further contribution to sustainable and environmentally friendly production.
BMW X1 will be produced in Leipzig.

BMW Board Member in charge of production Frank-Peter Arndt also announced today that the new BMW X1 will be produced in Leipzig. A precise date for commencement of production and market launch of the X1 will be announced later.

Four models are already rolling off the production lines at the BMW plant in Leipzig: Apart from the 3 Series saloon, three versions of the BMW 1 Series - three-door, coupé and convertible. The three 1 Series models are produced in Leipzig exclusively for the global market. Daily production is currently running at a peak of 700 vehicles a day. This means that the plant is currently operating at slightly in excess of the capacity originally planned.

Since the start of production in March 2005, the number of vehicles produced slightly exceeds 400,000 vehicles - the 400,000th automobile was manufactured this week.
Around 5,400 employees are currently working at this site. Approximately 2,600 of these jobs are carried out by BMW employees, the other operatives work for various service partners.

Today, the Leipzig plant is an important element in the global BMW Group production network comprising 23 plants in twelve countries. About ten percent of all automobiles supplied worldwide by the BMW Group (BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce) come from Leipzig. Every eighth BMW - i.e. more than twelve percent - of total BMW production worldwide is "Made in Leipzig".