BMW’s new Hams Hall engine plant will start production as planned in January 2001,
after a construction period of less than three years.

The BMW Group is investing DM 1 billion (approx £400 million; $US580
million) in the 170,000-square metre plant near Birmingham in the Midlands,
creating some 1,500 jobs when production reaches full volume. The new plant
will also create numerous jobs in the supply industry and at BMW’s existing
locations in Berlin, Landshut and Steyr.

A new generation of 1.6 to 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engines will be built
in Hams Hall, making the new plant in BMW-speak the ‘competence centre’
for the production of new Valvetronic engines within the group’s international
plant network.

The innovative Valvetronic technology replaces the throttle butterfly with
variable valve control, allowing the engine to breathe more freely and without
any throttle losses. The result is an improvement in power and performance and
a significant reduction in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

Engines from Hams Hall will go to car production plants in Munich, Regensburg
and Dingolfing in Germany, Spartanburg in the USA and Rosslyn, South Africa.

Responding to strong demand for BMW cars worldwide, production at the new plant
will be boosted significantly within just a few months of the original start-up.
In the first year of operation Hams Hall will produce some 60,000 engines, with
an annual production capacity of approximately 400,000 units in the years to
follow. The plant has advanced production facilities with a high degree of automation
providing the foundation for excellent product quality. What BMW calls a ‘highly
qualified and motivated workforce as well as flexible working time concepts’
is claimed to guarantee ‘a high standard of productivity’.

The start of production in Hams Hall will allow BMW’s Steyr engine plant to
further expand diesel engine production.