There will be no delays in the new EV reaching the market.
Not long after the disruptive shutdown caused by the global pandemic, a time when many automakers were battling to find their feet, BMW remained confident that the launch of its i4 electric sedan would remain on track for 2021. It wasn't just hopeful optimism on BMW's part, as the company's Munich plant has now been confirmed to be ready for production of the i4, which will compete with the Tesla Model 3.
The comprehensive conversion of the plant has been described as the biggest in its history, as changes ensure that the i4 can now be manufactured on the same production line as gas-, hybrid- and diesel-powered BMWs.
"We have completed the comprehensive restructuring and conversion of the plant successfully, on schedule and without complications," said Robert Engelhorn, Plant Director. He went on to praise the company's "outstanding planning and preparation" for the successful development and conversion of the plant, which required an investment totaling €200 million (just over $237 million).
While some aspects of the i4's production can be carried out using existing systems, such as bodyshop processes, parts such as the battery and the i4's floor assembly required unique systems to be implemented.
It's not only the electric i4 that BMW's home plant was prepped for over the last couple of weeks, though. Processes and systems were also put in place for the high-performance M3 sedan, along with both combustion and hybrid-powered derivatives of the 3 Series and 3 Series Touring, the latter not being available in the US.
The impressive flexibility of BMW's home plant is notable, whereas Porsche elected to build a dedicated production facility for its own electric sedan, the Taycan. When it arrives, the i4 will offer a range of over 370 miles based on the WLTP cycle, available all-wheel drive, and the fastest version should be able to hit 62 mph in around four seconds.