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Berlin to go, english edition, 02/2016

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DISCUSSION BEHIND THE

DISCUSSION BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE In an interview with Berlin to go, Dr. Marc Sielemann, Head of the BMW Group Plant Berlin, talks The numbers are impressive. On an area of roughly 220,000 m² in the Berlin district of Spandau, one finds the world’s only full-scale production facility for BMW motorcycles. Over 2.5 million motorcycles have been manufactured here since 1969. The Berlin plant also produces BMW scooters over 500 ccm and roughly 5.3 million automobile brake pads each year. The interview took place at BMW’s historical site in Berlin. The BMW Group and its Berlin plant count among the most important employers in the capital region. How many people work here and on how many models? Dr. Marc Sielemann (MS): Roughly 2,000 highly-qualified employees work on 20 different models at our Spandau plant. And these numbers will no doubt increase, especially as several models will be celebrating their production launch this year. Our employees have different professional profiles that range from trainees, mechatronic engineers, assembly staff, painters and planners all the way to quality assurance specialists and road testers. The special feature of our Berlin operations is that many of our employees are motorcyclists themselves and identify deeply with our products. We produce more than 700 motorcycles here every day, which means that one motorbike drives off the assembly line every 70 seconds. That makes for more than 130,000 motorcycles each year. With an export rate of 80%, which target markets are most important and what is your best-selling product? MS: Our largest single market remains Germany, followed by France, Italy and the USA. Overall, we export to 130 countries. Our leading BMW motorcycle remains the Reise-Enduro BMW R 1200 GS and its sister model the BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. In 2015, we sold almost 42,000 of these two bikes. We also sold over 11,391 Boxer GS bikes in the first three months of this year. What kind of trends and potential growth do you see on international markets that you serve from here in Berlin? MS: There is a revived interest in motorcycle riding, plus a tendency to prioritize a certain lifestyle, individuality and flexible, urban mobility. You can see this trend everywhere, and our new models are a response to it. Our Heritage segment, in particular, provides numerous opportunities to personalize each motorcycle. We see tremendous potential here in the U.S. market. What I value the most about BMW motorcycles in this context is the diversity of our models and our rigorous forward-looking strategy. This is the secret to our success. How are you linked from Berlin to your assembly plants in Brazil and Thailand? What role does Berlin play in this network? MS: The BMW Motorcycle Plant in Berlin is the world’s only primary, full-assembly plant in the international production network. Not only do we produce the majority of units Dr. Marc Sielemann, Head of the BMW Group Plant Berlin. here, we are also the backbone of BMW’s motorcycle production. In other words, we supply our international production sites in Thailand and Brazil with parts and ensure BMW’s uniform high-quality standards in the assembly process. In order to achieve this, we carry out regular training sessions with our international colleagues in Berlin and teach them how to build motorcycles according to German standards. Of course, this is also subject to regular monitoring. In the next several years, the BMW Group is set to invest over €100 million in the Berlin plant, among other things, to transform it into the world’s most modern logistics center in the motorcycle manufacturing sector. What is the company’s special focus in this case? 12 BERLIN TO GO

DISCUSSION BMW GROUP PLANT BERLIN about his perfectly tuned team, sales records and that famous Berlin air profit tremendously from this location. In fact, mobility on two wheels is a perfect fit for Germany’s largest metropolis. In Berlin, we can find answers to challenges posed by urban spaces in which people adapt their mobility according to their own needs. In the past several years, a highly innovative environment has emerged in Berlin comprising many startups, and this is complemented by the sheer proximity to scientific and R&D institutes. This is what makes Berlin so attractive from a production point of view. Highly innovative and powered by electricity: the new BMW C evolution electroscooter. Photos: BMW AG MS: The focus of our investment will be on the expansion of our painting capacity as well as the construction of the world’s most advanced logistics center in the motorcycle industry. This site will move more than one million parts per day. Our goal is to almost double our production volumes in the medium-term and increase the load at our Berlin plant even further. With the help of these investments over the coming years, we aim to design our plant structures for the long term and thus ensure sustainable jobs and the competitiveness of the location. The Berlin plant has a long history. Motorcycle production began here in 1969. What made the company choose Berlin back then, and what does the Berlin plant mean for BMW today? MS: BMW has been manufacturing in the historic halls at the Juliusturm since 1939. In those days, this involved producing aircraft engines. Later, seeing as our motorcycle production plant in Munich was reaching full capacity, BMW gradually began producing components in Berlin. Starting in 1969, Berlin became the site for all BMW motorcycle and scooter production with the help of our most modern facilities. We are proud to have been manufacturing in Berlin for over 45 years now and to have proven our mettle in the capital city. We The BMW R nineT Scrambler: A Heritage model with all the latest technology. How much of Berlin’s heart and soul is in each BMW motorcycle, considering that BMW is essentially a Bavarian company? MS: Each BMW motorcycle definitely contains a good dose of that famous Berlin air in its tires alongside a major portion of our employees’ passion and grit! Our team’s expertise is incredibly broad and deep, which is of great help when tackling major technical challenges in particular. In addition to motorcycle montage, we also manufacture all high-performance Boxer engines and four and six-cylinder engines in Berlin. We also have our own paint shop here. But we never forget our Bavarian roots. The Munich headquarters continues to be home to BMW’s development and design departments as well as its marketing unit. Where would you like to see your plant on its 50th anniversary in 2019? MS: By the time 2019 comes around, we will have completed the expansion of our plant and already be operating our largest construction project, the new logistics center. We will have set a firm course for the future and continued to pursue the successful course of BMW Motorcycles. Our goal is to expand our deliveries by the year 2020 to 200,000 motorcycles worldwide. Thank you for the interview! Interview by Ines Hein BERLIN TO GO 13

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