BMW - Werk Regensburg
tel. 0941 770 ext. 0
to schedule a factory tour...
BMW 1 and 3 Series, all BMW Z4, all BMW M 3 Series. and ALL 3 series coupes.
IF you own a 2dr 3er your car was built here!
Over 1,100 vehicles
are produced here daily!
9,000 employees including 300 apprentices
So… it all started when one of our euro 1Addicts
) started a thread asking how one goes about visiting the BMW factory. There isn’t just one factory as many of you know but six BMW factories in Germany that produce autos. Fast forward a few weeks later… and I had scheduled a private plant tour of BMW Regensburg Werk for the week just before Christmas. Christmas would come early for us! I invited a few of the M Flight guys to join us, along with our euro members. Some of the M Flight guys couldn’t make it.. so M Flight scheduled another custom tour the following month. They were nice enough to invite me and some of our euro 1addicts along for the tour. Special thanks to Hans Trower
, ///M-Flight Pres. (big_bro_t
) and Gennaro
///M-Flight VP (Genro757
) for organizing this special tour for all of us!
not only got us another special tour… but they also secured a special guided tour of the BMW Motorsports Dept at Regensburg! Also special THANKS to Pentagon Car Sales
in Kaiserslautern, Germany. www.pentagoncarsales.com
and their sales agent Torsten Poths. They are ///M Flight
's main sponsor and they graciously paid for everyone's tour at BMW Regenburg factory. Not cheap when you have 63+ people attending.
This was gonna be a GREAT tour. As luck would have it… on the day of our tour… Germany was hit by a major snow storm. The night before we got hit by freezing rain and ice. It took me some 30 minutes just to get most of the ice off of my car and drive the 1.5hour autobahn trip to Regensburg. Some of the M Flight guys came from the other side of Germany for this special tour. Talk about dedication!!
Some of you are probably asking what is: M Flight. ///M Flight Lead
started as just a bunch of military folks (active duty and civilian) wanting to form an ///M car club. M Flight was first started by Hans Trower
a US service member in the Air Force. You can visit their FB web page for more info… http://www.facebook.com/mflight.lead?fref=ts
or just Google them.
Here is a little background on ///M Flight…
The M-Flight Car Club was started in May, 2008 in Kaiserslautern, Germany by Hans Trower and M Flight VP Craig Richards help get the club off the ground. Below is a little about the club from Hans...
"I started the Car Club M-Flight in May of this year and it has grown tremendously since. I came up with the idea of having an exclusive M badged BMW club with the notion of it being unique to have all M badged cars. The club is for any year BMW "M" badged vehicle. We have M3's, M5's, M6's and Z4M's in the club so far. It started with about 5 members and we are now up to approximately 25 members throughout Germany. Kaiserslautern, Stuttgart and Spangdahlem just to name a few towns with members. What I love most about the club is when we roll down the Autobahn here in Germany at 120 miles per hour, single file, all M cars. Definitely a head turner! Most members are active duty military or DOD civilians."
- Hans T.
Todays M Flight has over 300 active ///M club members. Quite an achievement!
Getting back to back to our tour… it was a miserable day. Rain, sleet, and snow, mother nature was not kind to us that day! The closer I got to Regensburg the worse the weather got. The weather really makes one question one’s own sanity… but it was well worth the drive. As I rolled into the BMW Factory parking lot… I was surprised to see so many M cars driven in the snow(w/snow tires of course!). And they came from far away too! Four to five hours driving time. These M Flight guys were serious! As our tour time approached… we over whelmed the small little office that BMW had at the factory gate. We had over 63 people who came for the tour. We proceeded into the building were you assemble for the factory tour. We checked in and sat inside a small auditorium. We were shown a short film and presentation on the history of BMW company and production. And then it was off for our factory tour! We had a 4km walk ahead of us. Luckily BMW provided a bus for the first leg of our tour.
We had so many people we broke up into two tour groups. I don’t think the people at BMW had seen so many car nuts in one place! There was simply not enough space on the bmw factory bus for all of us… so we broke up into two groups. The bus driver had to make TWO trips!
The tour started off at the beginning: a simple roll of steel that first gets cut into sheets and then stamped into body parts. Each pressing of the metal and it changes shape into the desired form/part. All scraps get cut off and collected. They showed us a 300Kg cube that gets recycled back at the steel plant. BMW Regensburg has two presses. The presses are huge and go DEEP into the floor some eight floors DOWN into the basement. And they tower high above us too(six stories tall). BMW is building a third press plant, inside the factory - this should be online soon. The factory runs six days a week schedule. The press shop works three shifts while the regular production works on a two shift work program. Regular production workers work two five day schedules, then get three days off. And they like it that way!
The factory is a small city onto itself. Not only do they build a little over one thousand finished cars per day here… but they also have their own fire department, security, power plant, street cleaning maintenance, medical clinic, food canteen, kinder day care and all the other services one takes from granted in any city. And they have their own test track too.
And they also have their own Roman artifact museum in the tour visitor center. Seems that on part of the factory grounds there are some Roman ruins, so they have preserved this for the future. In the visitor center there were some Roman ceramics on display found here.
BMW AG factories…
• Berlin : BMW Motorcycle (all series)
• Leipzig : BMW 1er, BMW 1er Coupé, BMW 1er Cabrio, BMW 1X
• Regensburg : BMW 1er, BMW 3er, BMW Z4, BMW M3
• Wackersdorf : Production of vehicle components
• Dingolfing : BMW 5er, BMW 6er, BMW 7er, BMW M5, BMW M6, Production of vehicle components
• Landshut : Production of vehicle components
• München : BMW 3er
• Oxford : MINI (Hatch, Clubman, Cabrio, Coupé und Roadster) (UK)
• Steyr : Production of 4 and 6 cylinder diesel engines and 6 cylinder petrol engines (Austria)
For anyone interested in touring a BMW AG factory… you can contact BMW directly using this web form here… http://www.bmw-besuchen.com/en/index.html
You can also schedule a factory tour of the Munich plant when you visit the BMW Welt on ED or just when your in town. Cost is about ~8 euros pp.
Our tour took about two and half hours from start to finish. Afterwards we walked back towards the press shop and into a non-descript building. Inside was BMW Motorsports department. Now at Regensburg they don’t build finished race races. Instead they build the car for race customers in a knock down kit form. BMW Regensburg builds the complete body shell with roll cage and all the reinforcements needed for racing. The customer also gets the V8 race engine (basically the same engine BMW uses in DTM, just producing a few less HP)… and the race customer gets to assemble the BMW package. The race Z4 V8 package car will set you back a cool €330,000! They build between eight and twenty race cars per year. They only have nine employees. Erwin Schwarzensteiner was nice enough to take some time out of his busy day to show us around his workshop. And what a workshop it was! I noticed Erwin in one of the many race car posters hung with pride around the workshop.
They first start with a regular chassis from the Werk. Then the ///M Motorsports guys start by cutting away unnecessary parts of the chassis and reinforcing the areas they deem important for racing. Erwin told us how proud they were last year when one of the independent teams at the 24 hour race at Nürburgring rolled one of the race Z4’s… and the roll cage held up quite well. The roll cage work was incredible. Once the chassis is finished the car gets boxed up and shipped out to a customer. Everything is made to order – just like the regular production. You don’t buy “off the rack” here.
Well… I will let the photos speak for themselves. One note though… we were not allowed to take photos during our tour of the factory… so instead I found some press photos from BMW AG… of Regensburg to show you what we saw that day. We were allowed to take pictures in the race (Renn) department.