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Leipzig’s Night Owls Shift Gears: BMW Plant Powers Up for Electric MINI Countryman Launch

Leipzig, Germany – In an electrifying development, BMW’s Leipzig plant, renowned for kickstarting the electric revolution with the BMW i3, has now thrown its doors open for the production of the all-electric MINI Countryman. Just four months after the combustion engine version began rolling out, the electric variant has sparked into life, marking a significant leap towards MINI’s ambition for a fully electric lineup by 2030. The Leipzig plant, a veritable automotive chameleon, now boasts the production of four models across three drive types under two brands, all on a singular, dynamic production line.

The all-new MINI Countryman Electric is not just any electric vehicle; it promises an electrified go-kart sensation paired with zero emissions, available in two potent versions. The standard Countryman E offers a sprightly 204 horsepower, while the Countryman SE ALL4 ramps up the thrill with 313 horsepower, ensuring a spirited and sustainable drive.

Behind the scenes, the Leipzig plant has been a hive of activity, with a series of upgrades and expansions since 2018 to boost its production capacity to an impressive 350,000 vehicles annually. This ramp-up is largely thanks to the electric MINI Countryman, with the plant set to churn out nearly 500 units daily in addition to the existing BMW production line. “Our vehicles and components are in high demand, and the plant’s expansion is a testament to our commitment to meeting this demand,” said Plant Director Petra Peterhänsel.

The plant’s flexible production system has seamlessly integrated the MINI Countryman Electric into its operations, thanks to innovative assembly structures. Furthermore, the plant has taken strides in e-mobility with the production of high-voltage batteries in-house, covering all stages from cell coating to battery assembly, ensuring a fully integrated production process for the electric MINI Countryman.

To accommodate the increased production volume, the Leipzig plant is bolstering its workforce, adding up to 900 new roles in vehicle production, bringing the total number of employees to around 7,000 by the end of 2024. The introduction of night shifts in assembly from September marks a new chapter in the plant’s history, allowing round-the-clock production in three shifts.

Adding a splash of color to the launch, the electric MINI Countryman debuts in three new shades, including British Racing Green, Chili Red, and Blazing Blue, complete with MINI’s signature contrast roof option. The plant has also adopted a resource-saving overspray-free painting process, which not only conserves resources but also reduces CO2 emissions.

As Leipzig continues to lead the charge in sustainable automotive production, the plant is also pioneering the use of bivalent burner technology for drying paint, capable of running on hydrogen in addition to gas, further emphasizing BMW’s commitment to decarbonizing production.

In this dynamic shift towards electrification, BMW’s Leipzig plant not only showcases the future of mobility but also sets a new standard for flexible, sustainable, and efficient automotive production.

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