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      06-02-2010, 06:31 AM   #1
Dackelone
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Exclamation BMW Leipzig factory tour… (Photos inside!)

BMW Leipzig factory tour… (Photos inside!)


BMW AG
Werk Leipzig
BMW Allee 1
04349 Leipzig




For anyone thinking of touring BMW AG Leipzig Werk... here is their contact info formula link(in German)...


http://www.bmw-werk-leipzig.de/leipz.../de/index.html

or...

http://www.bmw-besuchen.com/en/infor...formation.html

BMW Werk Leipzig - Besucherbetreuung,
BMW Allee 1, 04349 Leipzig

Telefon: 0341 445-0
E-Mail: info.leipzig@bmw-besucherwesen.de

Or you can use this link (also in German, sorry)

http://www.bmw-werk-leipzig.de/leipz.../de/index.html


What I would recommend doing is to send an email in English to this email adress:

info.leipzig@bmw-besucherwesen.de






Note: feel free to skip on down to my photos bellow. The factory photos are from BMW AG.




Hi Guys,

A few weeks ago I sent BMW AG an email asking for a factory tour. The very next day they sent me a reply back with a date and time for my tour! I was really excited to go see where our cars are made!

Leipzig is only a few hours drive from where I live in Germany… so it was a nice day trip for me. A little over two hours from my home in Bamberg.

Onto my factory tour! The factory is really quite big in Leipzig. I’d say it’s about twice the size of the Spartanburg, SC plant. IF any of you have been there. ? Just like the US plant, BMW has a small test track in Leipzig (out back hidden from prying eyes) and a small factory dealership. How cool is that!!

The factory was designed with the car as a center point. So as the car moves along the factory “line”, each car is show cased in a subtle blue light. Every worker in the factory can see their connection to the cars they are building! It is a cool design feature of the ultra modern theme of BMW’s factory.

My first stop was to check in at the factory’s lobby area. To my surprise they had a small gift shop where one could buy some BMW little toy models and such. I spotted some goodies for myself. They also had a new X1 on display in the center of the lobby - with “Made in Leipzig” painted on the side of the car. Just a few years’ prior that could have read “made in the DDR”! loll

Leipzig has become a major economic center. Porsche AG has a factory here (Cayenne, Panorama, and the former Carerra GT was built here. As well as a lot of other Germany companies. DHL has an air hub here too. So there is lots of room for these companies to grow in the future.

The Leipzig factory tour lasted two and half hours. They said to be prepared to walk some 4km’s. I think we DID walk that much! But it was all pure JOY! (Pun intended!!) First they give you wireless headsets and a head phone. So you can hear what your tour guide is talking about even in the loud factory environment. They also gave us safety glasses which later we would need!! More on that in a sec.


First stop on our tour was the body shop. As we walked from station to station in the body shop… the MANY “KuKa Robots” were busy welding away! I was really surprised that the sparks from the welds would be spraying all around us was we walked near each welding station. I was thinking to myself this would never fly in the states. Too much for our safety standards we have. I was glad they gave us those safety goggles… bc a few welds came ohh so close to my eyes!

I counted at least 100 robots in the area we toured. And… I am sure there were more around the corner! Not only do the robots weld the platforms into floor and side panels, but they also check their work. Each station has to pass a strict test. IF a body part is out just one tenth of ONE millimeter! IF the finished part is rejected a human later corrects the defect. The workers do this by putting the floor pan or side panel on a huge jig. And then they fix the area of concern.

The robots start to weld small structures first. Step by step, the welded sections get bigger and bigger – until one starts to recognize a car’s floor section or side panel. What I thought was cool was some of the robots work upside down… bc for them there is no up or down! They but the almost complete body’s on this double jig. One car upright and the other inverted. Then these eight robots go to town spot welding away!


Once the metal body is welded together… the chasis get put on the “line” and workers start to mount trunk, hood, and doors. Everything is fitted and sanded down. It was here that one notices how much work there is in building a car!

I did notice that almost every Vert had a lot of panel corrections and grinding marks done to them. This was in their rear quarter panel area ahead of the rear wheels. But when they were finished everything looked fine. My guess is there must be more welding and warping of the body in Vert form. In those areas. ?

From the body shop… The cars move thru the main HQ’s building and to the paint shop. As the cars pass thru the main lobby and corporate offices… everyone can see the cars move along the line. Not just in the lobby but for the employee’s working in their offices and in the cafeteria and sport gym.

Before we could tour the paint shop… we had to put on some BMW uniforms/coveralls. Near that area they had a nice art work on display. One of

In the paint shop the finished cars get their rust corrosion treatment first. They get dipped and electrolytic coated. We could not see that process. After the rust corrosion is done… the cars receive one of four base primer colors. Depending on the customer’s final color choice. What I found surprising was white cars get a black base primer! We would watch these black bodies go into the paint booth… and then the robots would powder coat them in white! From there they got there clear coat and onto final assembly.

Every car gets five layers of paint. First the base is zinc galvanization dip , some sort of sealer, then the primer, then color and finally the clear coat. BMW uses an electrostatic charged powder spray coating. We walked in these all glass hallways, next to the paint booths. We could watch as the cars were painted by the robots. On almost every car tour I have been on… they do not allow visitors too see this! Quite cool.

When we toured the paint shop… we walked along these all glass hallways, adjacent to the paint shop. This way we could see what was going on, but not be exposed to the paint fumes. Everything was done by robots.

In the paint shop is where I noticed something interesting. In the back were the workers monitored the robots… they had up on the wall, paint samples of every car color. They used the fuel door, as a paint sample pallet. What surprised me was I counted 39 colors in all!!! I saw that “power green” color… but also this really bright yellow and mustard colors. Also a darker Power Green and some other plain weird colors. I also saw some more bronze and browns too.

One the cars were painted they got sent along to the final assembly building. Here the first thing done was the doors were removed. Then the wiring and sound insulation was installed. Then interior parts, seats, all glass, ect. For the X1 we could see the new panorama glass sunroof. That thing is HUGE! Twice the glass a normal sunroof! After the dashboard was installed the doors get reunited with the body they came from and the car moves along to the next step.

As we walked thru the mega factory from the paint shop and into final production… we now walked above the workers, on a platform. This allowed us to have a better view of the huge factory floor. And not interfere with the assembly line or get in the way of the just in time parts deliveries.

The Wedding.

We got to watch the “marriage” when the power train gets attached to the car’s body. You see the entire drive train, engine, transmission, suspension – all get bolted up to the body/chassis. This was ALL done by robots. I have never seen that before! Even at Audi or Porsche they have people doing this wedding as it is called. Even at VW for the Golf they have two human workers there to help the robots. But at BMW, only robots! They figured out a way to have the robots do the entire install! Amazing!!

Finally at the end of the line is when the cars get al their fluids. You could smell the distinct smell of engine oil in the air. Everything is pumped in bulk drums. Engine oil, coolant, ect. Every car gets between eight and fifteen liters of fuel. Depending on the model. Diesel and gasoline cars are all built one right after another. Also right hand drive left hand drive, are all in the production mix.

At the end of the final assembly is when they check the car’s wheels for proper alignment. The car is driven to an area when sensors check each wheel. Workers can go under the car to make any correction in a pit.

For the cars that need minor correction… workers can divert the car’s to the left of the production line. Here workers have mini service bays & lifts. They can fix anything that needs fixing.

Last stop the dyno room. The cars go to the drive in dyno room and the doors close. Every car gets put an on chassis dyno. The tour guide did not know how fast the cars get driven. Probably, no faster than 130kph though.

Some interesting facts. This factory makes the E81 2door hatch, E82 coupe and E88 Vert. They also build the new X1 here since last fall. They no longer build the 3er here. Some 50% of the dailey production is X1’s. The production numbers are like this:

25% for Germany
25% for USA
25% for EU
25% for the RoW (Rest of the World)

It takes 38 hours to build a car start to finish. They have two eight hour shifts of workers. While I was there the production target was 130 cars for that shift, to be finished. Most were X1’s. 40 were e81’s and 30 were e88’s and 20 were e82’s.

By far the most common color was black, dark blue, and white. I only saw like twelve US spec cars on the entire line! I kind of expected to see more. And I only saw five N55’s being built. Most were N52’s and four bangers. And a ton of diesels!

After the factory tour I went to the BMW dealership on the factory grounds. But they were already closed, but I did take a few pics. My tour started at 16:00 and it was finished at 18:30. The time really flew by.

I would highly recommend anyone to take this tour. I feel every car nut should see how our cars are built. With love and care. The workers have a great job and a cutting edge factory to build them in! Even though on the day I went it was cold and rainy, I still had a blast!


BMW does not allow you to take any photos on the tour. We had to leave our cameras and cell phones in lockers back in the lobby. They even said that the blue tooth phones can interfere with some of the robots and computers in the factory. I did find quite a few photos of Leipzig on BMW’s German website. I thought I would share them with you guys here. I am sure BMW would not mind. On the tour I saw the exact same things. So you will really get an idea of what the tour was like. Enjoy.

- David –

Made in Leipzig!


BMW AG photo


BMW AG photo. In center of pic is the main lobby/entrance.


BMW AG photo. Look at the size of this place!


BMW AG photo.










My car in the guest parking area!



New X1 in the lobby.




WOW! $$$










Gift shop to the right…





Gift shop…






1:18th 135i model for 65 euros.


Reception area






Factory tour pass…


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto



BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto



BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto



BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto


BMW AG foto



Now back to my fotos...



















Like these Vision rims?











Thank you for visiting us!







More photos can be seen here:

http://s764.photobucket.com/albums/x...0AG%20Leipzig/

Last edited by Dackelone; 10-14-2011 at 02:04 PM.
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      06-02-2010, 07:29 AM   #2
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Woah!!!! I went on the BMW Rosslyn Tour here in South Africa and even though it was the first international BMW factory it is the smallest now to date and this factory is way more impressive Rosslyn is purely a factory no frills... Nice pictures! Thanks
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      06-02-2010, 07:49 AM   #3
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Cool!
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      06-02-2010, 08:18 AM   #4
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awesome tour and write-up! really wish i was in Germany to take the tour!

i wonder if they make little "made in leipzig" decals...
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      06-02-2010, 09:06 AM   #5
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sick pictures! looks like a great time!
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      06-02-2010, 10:08 AM   #6
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Very nice.. and wow the employees are smiling while working on these cars.. how many of us can actually smile and be happy working.. amazing.. I wouldn't mind that job either haha..
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      06-02-2010, 11:02 AM   #7
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Great description and fabulous pics David! Thanks for sharing!

Did you snap up any of those 1/43 or 1/18 1'er models in the gift shop?

ianc
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      06-02-2010, 11:19 AM   #8
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I wish I did the Leipzig tour but I remember it was German only which turned me off...NOW I REGRET IT.

I want to thank those people for making such an awesome car!
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      06-02-2010, 11:53 AM   #9
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53k Euros for an X1?
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      06-02-2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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Very nice and awesome write up. Wish I could have went with you.
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      06-02-2010, 12:41 PM   #11
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Great photos - thanks for sharing!
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      06-02-2010, 12:54 PM   #12
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Great write-up, thanks for sharing! How do they fit the 3rd brakelights lol?


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Originally Posted by JoeyBananaz18 View Post
53k Euros for an X1?
It's Europe Don't be surprised to add another 10k for that same car here in NL
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      06-02-2010, 01:38 PM   #13
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Zahah Hadid is the architect. Look her up!
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      06-02-2010, 01:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyBananaz18 View Post
53k Euros for an X1?
I'm sure it will only be about $40K for NA! If that! Definitely better to buy a car in the states than in Europe!
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      06-02-2010, 01:59 PM   #15
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They really pass the cars through the office section like that? Thats wicked.
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      06-02-2010, 02:31 PM   #16
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Brilliant write up and photos to match! I've only seen a handful of those official photos. I also noticed via Google maps (while waiting for my car to arrive) that when zooming in on the carpark they have those white cars painted on the ground at completely random intervals, just like the one you parked next to. Did they explain what that's all about? They looked like real cars from afar on Google but I zoomed in thinking not that many people would park so far away and also have the same colour. Zooming in I saw what the cars actually were but it still seems bizarre. I've only been to the USA plant in Spartanburg and some parts of your tour sound familiar including the welding sparks and locked down phones/cameras. If I ever get to Europe I'll be signing up for the Leipzig tour as the factory looks alot more interesting than the US one.
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      06-02-2010, 06:29 PM   #17
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Hi Guys,

I am glad you guys enjoyed my little photo tour of Leipzig. Let me try and answer some of your Q's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crew09 View Post
awesome tour and write-up! really wish i was in Germany to take the tour!

i wonder if they make little "made in leipzig" decals...
I doubt it. Most Germans look down on the (former) Eastern Germany. It will take many generations for this type thinking to change. I think this made in Leipzig slogan is one way to make people rethink the way they feel about the former East (Ost Deutschland, aka DDR or GDR comunist state).


This "Made in Leipzig" slogan made me think of how the Guys at Porsche were making a joke years ago with the LeMans racer GT-1 car. Many people know that Porsche's racing dept is located in Weissach. but Weissach is really in a small village called: Flacht. So the guys at the Motorsports Dept put these small logos on teh left rear tail of the race cars proudly saying: Made in Flacht!

Maybe we should start a new decall for us die hard ONE fans!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1LazyBmw View Post
Very nice.. and wow the employees are smiling while working on these cars.. how many of us can actually smile and be happy working.. amazing.. I wouldn't mind that job either haha..
THIS is one very important way, to see how the employee's feel at their job. That they do not stare at you and they go about their job having fun and not feeling like they are in some weird sort of zoo. IF you can see them smile and relaxed you know the product they are making is a good one.

Our tour guide even pointed out how BMW has these quiet rooms throughout the factory... IF a worker is feeling over come or ill or just needs a break... BMW has special "jumper" workers to take thier place on the work line. Really a nice thing for them to do.

In the open coperate structure up front... since the entire work space is open... they also have these sound proof, queit rooms - for workers to talk loudly and get stuff off thier minds! lol These all glass rooms had really weird looking tubes on the inside of the cieling to cancell out any yelling or loud talking!



Quote:
Originally Posted by QSH17Z View Post
Brilliant write up and photos to match! I've only seen a handful of those official photos. I also noticed via Google maps (while waiting for my car to arrive) that when zooming in on the carpark they have those white cars painted on the ground at completely random intervals, just like the one you parked next to. Did they explain what that's all about?
I have no idea what those painted white car spaces were about! lol All my scences were on BMW over-load that day! lol


Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVert View Post
They really pass the cars through the office section like that? Thats wicked.
Yes they do! Not only that but they even had large trees and plants all thru out the corperate offices up front. I think they do that to control the humidity and to provide a soothing, natural feeling to the workers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BR3CK View Post
Zahah Hadid is the architect. Look her up!
Yes, our tour guide said she is from London but originally from Iran. She did a wonderfull job in making a bold statement in the factory design.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyBananaz18 View Post
53k Euros for an X1?

YuP! Welcome to Deutschland!! IF you want to play you PAY, PAY, PAY!!!

Keep in mind this price includes Germany's 19% sales tax (VAT/MwSt).

IF you want to see how much a car costs in Germany you can build one here:

http://www.bmw.de/de/de/general/conf...figurator.html

Click on the: Direktauswahl (center left to web page)
The scroll on the cars at the bottom of the page. You can change the model type too.

FYI... The X1 comes in these models and base prices. options are EXTRA!! from cheap to top of the line...

X1 series...

X1 1.8i 27K euros 150 PS
X1 1.8d 30K euros 143 PS
X1 2.0d 35K euros 177 PS
X1 2.3d 39K euros 204 PS
X1 2.5i 38K euros 218 PS
X1 2.8i 42K euros 258 PS

And as Jeremy Clarkson wisely said a few years back... the car companies make no money on selling cars... they make all their money on selling OPTIONS!!!! :")

While I was at BMW.de website... I took a look at the one series coupe base prices. They now offer SIX e82 coupes now for 2011 production!

1-er e82 coupes

118d 28K euros 143 PS (diesel)
120d 30K euros 177 PS
123d 33K euros 204 PS

120i 26K euros 170 PS (gasoline)
125i 33K euros 218 PS (same as 128i)
135i 40K euros 306 PS

all options EXTRA!


Quote:
Originally Posted by achtungE30 View Post
I wish I did the Leipzig tour but I remember it was German only which turned me off...NOW I REGRET IT.

I want to thank those people for making such an awesome car!


I think they offer Enlgish tours. ??? I know my tour guide spoke English really well. As most any German who is under 50 years old does. lol

There was a tour group from Romania waiting while out tour took off in the factory... I am fairly certain they would get an English tour, bc that was what they were speaking with the BMW tour rep.

One thing that was kind of cheasy was BMW charges five euro per head to run this tour. OR... 130 euros for a group of 20 or more.

Maybe we should do a 1addicts tour in the future at Leipzig!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth135i View Post
Woah!!!! I went on the BMW Rosslyn Tour here in South Africa and even though it was the first international BMW factory it is the smallest now to date and this factory is way more impressive Rosslyn is purely a factory no frills... Nice pictures! Thanks
I know a lot of the spare parts that I have bought in the past for my e36 were made in South Africa. I believe alot of the 3er's sold in the western USA come from South Africa too. And all 3-er wagons for the US market come from there too.


- David -
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      06-02-2010, 07:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianc View Post
Great description and fabulous pics David! Thanks for sharing!

Did you snap up any of those 1/43 or 1/18 1'er models in the gift shop?

ianc
OooOOOoooo YES!!!!

I bought the two small size 135i models. 1:87 (small) and 1:43 (medium) sized models. They also had the larger 1:18 size for 65 euros.

The only problem is they die cast models are only made in two colors: Black or Sedona Red. I think I will buy another small model and try and paint it myself. My car is silver like your Ian.

I think I will pick that one (1:18th) scale model up in Munich when I go there in a few weeks. I want to go see the BMW Welt and Musuem there. I have never been there. Only on the outside of the buildings. lol

Here are some pics of the 135i models I have. They are cool, bc they open in an unusual way. By turning the cover in 180' degrees. Its also interesting that the small one is made in Germany while the medium size is made in China.



1;43rd box


small 1:87th scale...









You can order these models from any BMW dealer:

small 135i model: 80 41 0 427 070 price 18 euros
med 135i model 80 42 0 427 067 price 28 euros
large 1:18 scale model 65 euros. sorry noo part number.

Btw... BMW makes a models for every car they build! IF anyone needs help just PM me.

- David -
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      06-02-2010, 08:15 PM   #19
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$53k euros for an X1 2.0 diesel. Love Europe. Thats about $65USD in M3 land here. A couple of months ago it was more like $80k prior to the Euro dropping.

Anyway, great pics, thanks for sharing!
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      06-02-2010, 10:08 PM   #20
ennislaw
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Dack ... great photos and write-up of the tour! My wife and I did both plant tours with ED and PCD; my wife, who is not a car person by any stretch of the imagination, was fascinated with BMW's assembly lines, a lot more than I was. Great find on the paint shop photos, at PCD, the paint shop was papered off due to a "new" color supposedly, so we didn't get any glimpses.

Thanks for the post!

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      06-02-2010, 10:15 PM   #21
jc_lbc
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Cool story and good post. When were you there exactly? Maybe you saw my 135i on the line.
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      06-02-2010, 10:24 PM   #22
Dackelone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jc_lbc View Post
Cool story and good post. When were you there exactly? Maybe you saw my 135i on the line.
This Monday! May 31st.

What color is your car? Maybe I saw it!?!?! :")
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