Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP Worldwide > The International Automotive Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 24th February 2005, 17:18   #1
BHPian
 
CLS_55_AMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cuffe Parade, BOMBAY
Posts: 146
Thanked: 35 Times
Default Visit to the BMW factory

During my last visit to the US, in 2002, I got a chance to visit the BMW factory which is in Greenville, SC. It so happens that my sister lives in Greenville, and her house is just 20 mins away from the Plant.

The plant has a properly organised tour, which costs around 5$ a head. It is spread over something like 200 acres of land and is simply mindblowing. Lush lawns cover most of it. At the entrance, on display was a brand new X5 painted in the colours of the US flag, shod with 20 inch chrome wheels.
Inside the plant theres a mini museum and souvenir shop from where i bought this really cool M3 keychain.
On display inside are various models from z coupe to the engine of the BMW Williams F1 engine.

The tour starts with all the visitors being given safety goggles and wireless headphones. The leader of the group uses an FM microphone and hence while we are inside, we can hear what she
says as there is too much noise inside.

The only part of the plant that is not open to visitors is the paint booth because the paint technology is a secret.

This particular plant produces all the worlds BMW X5's and Z4's accross all variants including LHD's and RHD's. They work in 3 shifts of 8 hours, hence the plant is never shut. In a day 600 new cars roll out including 400 X5's and 200 Z4's.

Before the Z4 was launched, they produced the Z3 here and hence as a tribute to the Z3 they had the last produced Z3 mounted on one of the walls at the plant.

The engines come pre assembled from Germany. The body panels and chassis are fabricated in the US itself. At any given point of time there are over 600 unpainted bodies ready to be processed. As orders are received from all over the nation and world, the ready bodies move on to the assembly line. A page containing all the different codes of the configuration of each car is stuck onto the front fender. As the car moves through various stages of production, these codes are scanned into the system and accordingly the various parts are fitted, for eg. if a particular car is with beige leather, then the robot automatically picks up the beige leather seats and installs them into the vehicle. It is just amazing how these mechanical marvels are doing everything while the humans at the plant just watch and supervise.

Once the cars are ready they go through extensive tests to ensure faultless production. They are run on dynos for a couple of minutes to ensure that the engine runs perfectly and then taken into a booth where water is sprayed at high pressure continuously for a few minutes to ensure waterproof beadings and joints.

At the end of the entire assembly is this huge, and I mean HUGE hall, something the size and magnitude of 10 aircraft hangars, that houses the ready cars. Hundreds of X5's of various colours, and hundreds of Z4's.

All in all an absolutely awesome experience, something that I wont forget for the rest of my life. In fact, I have just learnt, that at the plant itself, they have this training programme which is for 3 days where they teach various stunts such as sliding, doing doughnuts, slalom runs etc on a BMW M5, for a fee of around 1000-1200 $, so thats gonna be on the itenary of my next trip hopefully sometime this year. Will keep you guys posted on that!

P.S.: Anyone else had any experiences like this?...please make sure to post them!
CLS_55_AMG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2005, 18:49   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 11,892
Thanked: 9,725 Times
Default

Have visited a Nissan Ford, plant and Rover plant in the UK quite sometime ago. Visiting a BMW must have been a mega experience. Re: driving - check my track day here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/showth...light=thruxton (My track day in a Porsche and a Ferrari 360M)
ajmat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2005, 18:52   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Maverick5490's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Thane
Posts: 1,255
Thanked: 615 Times
Default

Hey man..
Boy am i jealous.. i work for a BMW service centre and am pretty happy with the experience as i get to see almost all of the Beemers around.. so i must say urs is an experince to cherish.. hope i get to do it some day.. I beleive the X3's are also produced over there now..
EnjoY!
Maverick5490 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24th February 2005, 18:56   #4
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 11,892
Thanked: 9,725 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick5490
Hey man..
.. I beleive the X3's are also produced over there now..
EnjoY!

No mate, X3's are made by Steyr Puch in Austria - only car not built by BMW - everything is totally outsourced by BMW except the powertrain
ajmat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2005, 07:35   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,376
Thanked: 22,590 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick5490
i work for a BMW service centre
...and my avatar says "mitsubishi motors". whys that??..just wondering.

Hey CLS_55_AMG,

That was a really awesome write up.... at the begining i was dissapointed to see no pics...but after reading it i didnt even need the pics!
Thanks for the info, just a few weeks ago i was trying to find out which models were made in the SC factory.

cheers
R
Rehaan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2005, 10:08   #6
BHPian
 
turbo_v12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Thane
Posts: 457
Thanked: Once
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat
No mate, X3's are made by Steyr Puch in Austria - only car not built by BMW - everything is totally outsourced by BMW except the powertrain
No wonder Jeremy Clarkson ws no impressed by the performance of the BMW X3...The drivetrain is not by BMW as you said. The off-roader looks great but he says that the car sounds a lot more than it performs.Bet u must have found the 5$ more than worth it.

Last edited by turbo_v12 : 25th February 2005 at 10:09.
turbo_v12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2005, 11:07   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
lamborghini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,636
Thanked: 1,263 Times
Default

Hey Cls buddy,
good write up.Now even i want to go there.5$ a head is not all that bad.Do they allow you to take pictures or no?
lamborghini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2005, 14:06   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
revtech's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,988
Thanked: 35 Times
Default

hey dude
amazin write up.and thanx a lot for all the information.!!
revtech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th February 2005, 17:43   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
Deeps's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Delhi/Noida
Posts: 1,090
Thanked: 67 Times
Default

Sounds like an amazing day. $5 is nothing for all that you got to see. I'd also like to know if you were allowed to take pics.
Deeps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th February 2005, 00:33   #10
BHPian
 
CLS_55_AMG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cuffe Parade, BOMBAY
Posts: 146
Thanked: 35 Times
Default Visit to the BMW factory

Hey guys
thanks for appreciating the write up!
Yeah I was geared with my camera ( of course!...u think im stupid?!! hehe ) but sadly they didnt allow me to take it in!
Anyways, now that I work with Mercedes-Benz, I will write soon about my numerous experiences at the Plant near Pune at Pimpri.

Cheers!
CLS_55_AMG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th February 2005, 23:25   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
lamborghini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,636
Thanked: 1,263 Times
Default

Hey Cls buddy, please do that.
Are the general public allowed to visit it yet?
lamborghini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th February 2005, 00:49   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
Maverick5490's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Thane
Posts: 1,255
Thanked: 615 Times
Default

good point rehaan.. dint get a good BMW logo that fiits the size requirements.. so had to settle for the one that i had!!
Maverick5490 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27th February 2005, 01:09   #13
BHPian
 
z klasse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 345
Thanked: 2 Times
Default

General Public not allowed to visit it. I had gone there for training when i used to work there. It does not feel like India once u in. Smooth tarmac and greenery all around. Though the factory only works from 9 to 3 and a 1 hour lunch in the middle, they have a capacity to produce 6500 cars a year but they dont produce so many. Maybach and other cars are just zooming up and down going into ditches etc to hear for noises or something I guess or just some excited guy going up and down everyday in the factory.
z klasse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th February 2005, 12:51   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
lamborghini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,636
Thanked: 1,263 Times
Default

Any of you people working for mercedes driven a maybach yet?
lamborghini is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My Ferrari factory/galleria visit - 1992 ksanjee The International Automotive Scene 2 30th May 2011 03:56
Fiat Factory visit to Ranjangaon - FCCCI moralfibre The Team-BHP Meet Section 43 28th November 2009 19:45
Koenigsegg factory visit! always_dui The International Automotive Scene 14 12th March 2006 11:05
A Visit to the RUF Factory GTO The International Automotive Scene 4 18th October 2004 22:27
TVR Factory Visit Pics!! Stratos The International Automotive Scene 0 16th October 2004 01:24


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 11:00.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks