BMW Group's UK engine manufacturing plant, located in North Warwickshire, is this week marking 20 years of manufacturing three and four cylinder petrol engines.

Around 1,000 people work at the site, opened on 8 February, 2001. Around a third involved in the development of the site are still part of today's workforce.

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."

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.

Apprenticeships with the company have proven to be a great foundation from which to progress to become specialists, be part of the management or go further afield to take up roles elsewhere in BMW Group worldwide.

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Michael Nikolaides, BMW Group's SVP Production Engines and E-Drives said: "[The company] 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.

The first I4 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 fuel consumption and emissions. The plant was also the sole provider of the three cylinder engine that contributed to the overall drivetrain of the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.

Today the plant produces a new generation of group engines. Facilities are also enabled to build three and four-cylinder engines for plug-in hybrid models.

The plant also is preparing to take over production of the company's V engines which will be moving from the factory in Munich.

Engines come off the production line at more than one per minute and are currently supplied to nine group vehicle plants worldwide, with the majority going to Oxford for Mini and to Spartanburg, US, for the X SUV range.

Five million engines have been produced since the plant opened with annual production in recent years exceeding 375,000.

As well as engine assembly, a machining hall produces crankshafts, cylinder blocks and heads.

A large investment in the last decade has meant the plant is able to produce these parts for other group engine plants with annual production exceeding 1m components.

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