BMW’s decision to focus production of its electric powertrains in Germany and shun the UK has been labelled ‘a great shame’.
In the same week the government announced a ban of petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030, BMW handed production of its V8 and V12 engines to its Hams Hall factory in Birmingham and said its electric powertrains would be built in Germany.
Economics academic and automotive expert Prof David Bailey expressed his disappointment at the decision.
He told Car Dealer: ‘The low carbon future growth technology is all in Germany. Hams Hall is stuck with old technology, which is on the way out.
‘This is a great shame for Hams Hall.’
Currently BMW’s four, six, eight and 12-cylinder engines are made in Munich, but the brand has said that by 2022 all of its German plants will produce at least one electrified powertrain.
BMW Group said it is ‘concentrating its European production activities for internal combustion engines at the Steyr and Hams Hall locations’.
BMW’s Hams Hall facility will make V8 and V12 engines in addition to the three and four-cylinder engines it currently produces, while Steyr, Austria, will produce four and six-cylinder engines.
However, a statement from BMW Hams Hall refuted claims that this would be a blow to the plant, saying: ‘Hams Hall is already producing the latest generation of highly efficient three and four-cylinder petrol engines, with a significant and growing proportion destined for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
‘Adding the prestigious V12 and V8 engines to the plant’s portfolio is a reflection of its exceptional quality record and increases the number of manufacturing plants which Hams Hall supplies to ten. This will include the supply of V12 engines to Rolls-Royce at Goodwood.
‘The addition of these new engines increases the role Hams Hall will play in BMW Group’s global production network, expanding its contribution to the company’s ‘Power of Choice’ offer to customers across diverse global markets.’
A BMW spokesperson added the around 20 per cent of the combustion engines built at Hams Hall this year were destined for plug-in hybrid models.
It is planned that the switch will be made by 2024.