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BMW Production Process

Driving change in a highly competitive marketplace through continually enhancing the aspirational driving experience; the boost in production capacity will positively impact the logistics, suppliers, and distribution networks that support the manufacturing BMW process. (Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing, BBC) Introduction The BMW brand, for many years has been characterized by its unique elegance, comfort and beauty.

The company’s blue and white roundel recalls an era when BMW operated in a very different technical arena. The badge is a stylized version of a spinning airplane propeller in a blue sky, when the origins of the company were in the rapidly-expanding aircraft industry of the early 1900s (Noakes, 2005). Founded in 1917, the BMW Group is now one of the ten largest car manufacturers in the world and, with its BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands, possesses three of the strongest premium brands in the car industry.

The group also has a strong market position in the motorcycle sector and operates a successful financial services business. The company aims to generate profitable growth and above-average returns by focusing on the premium segments of the international automobile markets. With this in mind, a wide-ranging product and market offensive was initiated in 2001, which has

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resulted in the BMW Group expanding its product range considerably and strengthening its worldwide market position.

The company’s brand is extremely strong and is associated with high performance, engineering excellence and innovation. Indeed, the BMW brand is often cited as one of the ‘best’ in the world, and the company continues to launch a stream of innovative products as part of its battle with German peer Mercedes to be the world’s largest luxury car maker (Jones,2008). BMW Production and Distribution process “Agility and economy” are the most important premises in the BMW Group’s worldwide production network.

They manufacture their products at 24 sites in 13 countries on four continents: seven vehicle plants for BMW automobiles and motorcycles and the Oxford plant for the MINI in Great Britain, three engine plants, four for components and special functions, and eight assembly plants. The Rolls-Royce Phantom is manufactured by hand by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited, in Goodwood, England. The BMW Group’s worldwide network of production and development ensures that expert knowledge and know-how, which has been newly acquired or gained over the last decades, is used consistently throughout all plants.

Thus the BMW Group has learned at an early stage to attach the greatest importance to the creation of a network in order to optimize its own resources and to take advantage of synergy effects (BMW Group, 2005) This powerful network with its most important branches allows the BMW Group to react quickly and most flexibly to the ever-changing demands of the customers and developments on the market. These locations are: Munich, Dingolfing, Landshut, Regensburg, Berlin, Leipzig (from 2005),all in Germany; Steyr in Austria, Spartanburg in USA, Rosslyn in South Africa and Oxford and Hams Hall in Great Britain (BMW Group, 2005).

The application of uniform standards as to quality, safety and processes within the network makes possible the worldwide production of products of supreme quality, that is products “Made by BMW”, or to put it simply: “Premium production of premium products”. The sustained production in the sense of a careful use of resources is an integral part of all decision-making processes. For the BMW Group, sustained production is not only part of their entrepreneurial philosophy and adhered to in theory. It is also put into practice. (BMW Group, 2005)

The same consistent standards of quality, safety, and processes at all locations guarantee worldwide premium products “made by BMW Group”. Careful use of resources is the guiding principle behind all the production planning and an integral part of the entire production process. As a corporation, takes the responsibility for society wherever they are. Aim to be an active, fair partner for these regions and their inhabitants. So-called “living” structures enable the BMW Group to react flexibly to customer demands and market requirements throughout the world.

This includes flexible working time models and working time accounts as well as the capability to build additional numbers of certain models in other plants, if necessary. (BMW Group, 2005) BMW Group’s production network displays its special strengths whenever the corporation plans a new site or introduces new vehicle models. Intelligent linking of knowledge beyond the boundaries of a plant as well as the exceptional commitment, responsibility, and identification of BMW employees enable production to begin right on time – with their customary high product quality.

In addition to innovation, quality and expertise, environmental and social factors play a decisive role in the BMW Group’s selection of suppliers. Since early 2003, the BMW Group’s national and international purchasing guidelines have contained provisions on environmental and social responsibility. Suppliers must agree to use energy and raw materials efficiently, minimize exhaust, noise and emissions, and set up and maintain an efficient environmental management system.

Purchasing guidelines likewise forbid the use of child or forced labour, discrimination and bribery. These provisions are put into effect in accordance with the BMW Group’s cooperative relationships with its suppliers. Approximately once a year, BMW Group experts from purchasing, development, quality management and logistics evaluate supplier adherence to product- and production-related environmental protection and social standards (BMW Group, 2005)

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