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      12-15-2017, 12:44 PM   #1
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BMW Group announces construction of new proving ground in the Czech Republic

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BMW Group announces construction of new proving ground in the Czech Republic
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December 15, 2017

Munich/Prague
. Representatives of the BMW Group, the Czech government and the Karlovary Vary region announced construction of a new proving ground today in Prague. The roughly 500-hectare property will be developed in Sokolov in the Karlovary Vary region, close to the German border town of Waldsassen and about two-and-a-half hours’ drive from the BMW Group’s main development site, the Research and Development Centre (FIZ), in Munich. The new BMW Group proving ground, which will create several hundred jobs, is slated to go into operation early in the next decade. Total investment will be in the three-digit million-euro range.

Dr. Herbert Grebenc, BMW AG, Human Resources, Senior Vice President Real Estate Management, Corporate Security, stated at the announcement in Prague: “The BMW Group is at the vanguard of technology. As an innovation driver, we aim to offer customers the best, most emotional mobility experience and create digital connections between people, vehicles and services. At the planned proving facility in Sokolov, we will continue to advance ground-breaking topics, such as electrification, digitalisation and automated driving – for example, through safety-testing for assistance systems.”

The BMW Group’s existing facilities in Aschheim, near Munich, Miramas (France) and Arjeplog (Sweden) no longer have sufficient capacity to meet testing requirements. The company has therefore spent the past months exploring possible strategic locations in Germany and neighbouring countries. Dr. Herbert Grebenc explained the decision to locate in the Czech Republic, as follows: “We found the ideal conditions and grounds we need for vehicle testing in Sokolov. Opening our first development location in Eastern Europe will create new opportunities and marks a milestone in the history of our company. Working with the property owner Sokolovská uhelná and all political representatives has been extremely positive so far and is based on mutual trust.”

Tomáš Hüner, Czech Minister of Industry and Trade, said at the announcement in Prague: “The government of the Czech Republic and the BMW Group are preparing a joint cooperation agreement on the investment announced today by the BMW Group in construction of a new proving ground for future vehicle technologies in the Karlovy Vary region. The government will deal with the draft of the specialized aspects of that declaration soon. The Ministry of Industry and Trade welcomes investments of this kind, which create highly-skilled and specialised jobs and bring high added value for the Czech economy.”

Jana Vildumetzová, President of the Karlovary Vary region, underlined the importance of the new BMW Group proving ground for her region: “The plans of such a major investor as the German automobile manufacturer, the BMW Group, are very important to the Karlovary Vary region. Our region is one of three in the Czech Republic undergoing structural change. There is a lack of research, development and innovation and we are struggling with a shortage of jobs. The district of Sokolov will see a gradual decline in mining in the future and people there will be looking for new challenges. By creating several hundred jobs through construction of a proving ground for automated driving, we are opening a new chapter in the continued development of our region. This will open up attractive new employment opportunities in development and related areas for the people of Sokolov and the entire region. This project comes at exactly the right time and we will do everything we can to ensure that the Karlovary Vary region is a strong partner for the company and provides full support throughout its implementation.”

Karel Kučera, CEO of CzechInvest, highlighted the significance of the investment for the Czech Republic: “Today marks the successful conclusion of two-and-a-half years of negotiations, involving more than 200 people from various departments and institutions at national and regional level on the Czech side. The new BMW Group proving ground is a showcase for investments with high added value, which the Czech Republic now represents and which have been a goal of CzechInvest in recent years.”

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      12-15-2017, 01:22 PM   #2
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Love me some Prague! Gonna have to go check this out.
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      12-15-2017, 02:00 PM   #3
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Looks like a fun place to boot around some cars
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      12-15-2017, 02:27 PM   #4
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Prague.
Goldfingers.

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      12-15-2017, 02:43 PM   #5
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It´s "Karlovy Vary region", not "Karlovary Vary region".
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      12-15-2017, 05:50 PM   #6
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Sounds good!!!
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      12-16-2017, 05:14 AM   #7
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Strange choice. Normally you want your test track near your R&D center(in Munich, FIZ)

Can a new Czech factory be that far off?
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      12-16-2017, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Strange choice. Normally you want your test track near your R&D center(in Munich, FIZ)

Can a new Czech factory be that far off?
Agree, seems highly likely Dack. Unless the motorway between them is part of then new test regime.
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      12-16-2017, 03:45 PM   #9
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Is that the actual track? They been watching too much NASCAR or what?
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      12-16-2017, 07:13 PM   #10
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C Republic is not in the EU, so everything is cheaper, aka bang for your buck.
Love how companies are wiggling out of EU every change they get

To my Czech Republic people.......CZ-75 PCR Thank you
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      12-17-2017, 03:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuz5150 View Post
C Republic is not in the EU, so everything is cheaper, aka bang for your buck.
Love how companies are wiggling out of EU every change they get

To my Czech Republic people.......CZ-75 PCR Thank you
We´ve been a member of EU since 2004, so I don´t get your point. We just don´t use euro as a currency.
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      12-17-2017, 04:39 AM   #12
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He has no point, he just want to trash the european union
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      12-18-2017, 11:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Strange choice. Normally you want your test track near your R&D center(in Munich, FIZ)

Can a new Czech factory be that far off?
It's closer to München than either the Nordschleife or their facility at Mirimas in the south of France, so it makes some sense.
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      12-20-2017, 06:58 PM   #14
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I'd say two opinions on that:
1. Czech landowners had to sell it really cheaply below the price of the land price otherwise BMW would build it in Germany.
2. Many russian oligarchs live in Karlovy Vary region. There must be some great profit in it for them.

But if they really want to build it there I wish them best of luck and no problems with it.
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