Many people are aware of BMW’s UK manufacturing presence in the UK through its MINI plant in Oxfordshire but its activities in Warwickshire are sometimes overlooked.
BMW Group’s UK engine manufacturing plant is located in Hams Hall near Coleshill in North Warwickshire and this year it marks a major milestone.
Officially opening and starting production in 2001, the plant is this month marking 20 successful years manufacturing three and four-cylinder petrol engines.
A workforce of more than 1,000 people support the day-to-day operations of the site, which opened on February 8 2001.
Around a third of the team are also celebrating their own 20-year or more contribution to the plant, with some of the original project team members who were involved in the development of the site still a part of today’s workforce.
More than five million engines have been produced since the plant opened, with annual production in recent years exceeding 375,000 engines.
Engines roll off the Hams Hall production line at more than one per minute and are currently supplied to nine different BMW Group vehicle plants globally.
The majority of the engines made at Hams Hall go to Plant Oxford in the UK for MINI and to Plant Spartanburg, USA for the BMW ‘X’ model range.
Plant director Dirk Dreher said: “Twenty years of manufacturing our award-winning engines and precision components is a fantastic achievement, and testament to the very loyal and committed workforce we have at Plant Hams Hall.
“Thanks to a series of investments and a diverse workforce who take pride in striving for continuous improvement, our plant remains efficient, at the cutting edge of technology and able to make a very positive contribution to the wider BMW Group.”
As well as continually improving and innovating, developing people has also been high on the agenda at Hams Hall.
The plant currently has 53 apprentices participating in four-year training programmes – the highest number to be training at any one time in the 20-year history of the plant – and the search is already underway to find the next apprentices who will drive forward another decade of success.
Throughout its 20-year history, Plant Hams Hall has been making a strong contribution to BMW Group’s commitment to produce efficient engines.
Michael Nikolaides, senior vice president production engines and E-drives, said: “BMW Group has always prided itself as an absolute leader in engine technology.
“The Hams Hall plant is a high-performing and reliable pillar in our drivetrain production network, consistently delivering the latest generation of three and four-cylinder petrol engines to vehicle plants across the world.
“With sales in multiple and diverse markets, BMW Group offers its customers a combustion engine, a plug-in hybrid or a fully-electric motor and the Hams Hall plant is making a valuable contribution to this overall company strategy.”
The very first four-cylinder BMW engines produced at the plant represented a revolutionary step forward in technology that brought a significant decrease in fuel consumption combined with much lower exhaust emissions.
An additional new engine family introduced in 2006 broadened the plant’s supply and introduced a raft of updates to the MINI brand, improving the iconic British car’s fuel consumption and emissions.
The plant was also the sole provider of the award-winning three-cylinder engine that contributed to the overall drivetrain of the trailblazing BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.
Today the plant produces the latest generation of BMW Group engines and supports the company’s ‘power of choice’ offer to customers across a number of diverse global markets.
Facilities at the plant are also enabled to build three and four-cylinder engines for plug-in hybrid models contributing to BMW Group’s electrification strategy.
In addition, the plant is preparing to take over production of the company’s most prestigious V engines which will be moving from the engine production plant in Munich.
As well as engine assembly, a high-tech machining hall is a core part of the Hams Hall site, producing key engine components – crankshafts, cylinder blocks and cylinder heads.
A large investment in the last decade has meant the plant is able to produce these parts for other BMW Group engine plants too, with annual production exceeding more than one million components.
With National Apprenticeship Week having just taken place, anyone with a passion for a career in the automotive industry is being encouraged to apply for an apprenticeship at the Hams Hall plant.
For more information and to apply for an apprenticeship, visit the BMW Group careers website here.
BMW Group is made up of four brands – BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad.
The company has 31 production and assembly facilities in 15 countries and in 2020 it sold over 2.3 million passenger vehicles and more than 169,000 motorcycles worldwide.
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