Hallo, it is the day four here in
Germany and we have already seen two car plants, BMW and Audi as well
as the world famous Hofbrau haus and historic Munich! Since my
specific task will be BMW and perhaps its comparison to Audi, Joey’s
project, I will drop a few hints about the company in this posting.
BMW consists of 24 plants in 13 countries on 4 continents. At BMW
Welt, we were able to experience the comfort of the top line M7, M6
and Mini cooper series, except for the Rolls Royce as you may need to
be wearing a suit just to approach the Phantom which BMW also now
makes, giving it their own glamorous touch. BMW is now the most
expensive car manufacturer in Germany, surpassing Mercedes in 2011.
The company started in 1923 making
aircraft and motorcycle and began making their double kidney front
grille car series in 1932. Mercedes-benz almost bought the company
in 1959, however the shareholders stood firm and continued to make
the company what is it today, later taking on Rover (temporarily),
Mini, and Rolls Royce in 2003.
As for the actual manufacture itself,
which may well be trade secret (SHHH!), the frame and body pieces are
pressed from aluminum and steel rolls in huge stamp machines. Also,
the paint by BASF is recycled in water (although this seemed over the
top, they do everything they can to recycle everywhere in Germany),
and the undercoat base paint which predetermines the set of possible
overcoat colors is actually mated to the body via electrical charge.
These are just a few of the trade
secrets they are willing to tell us about, but I think one of the
biggest pieces to the BMW puzzle is their performance engines,
assembled by hand right here in Munich and Austria.
Not all BMW are expensive, however,
there is a 118d and other 1 series coupes with cloth seats and simple
features yet still the BMW quality for less money than their cheapest
US car, the Z4 or the 125i. And guess what: the 3 series uses the
same platform so maybe one can think twice before spending $90,000USD
on an M3 and ask themselves if a 118d will do! Oh yes, it must be
imported first but you can do this here at BMW Welt (World).
We arrived a few days early but the 4
series is soon being released and it will be a big day for Bayern.
This is indicated by a countdown timer at the assembly plant parking
lot so even the workers can revel in anticipation.
I would like to thank employee David
Langenbuch who helped me learn more info about the cars inside and
out from electric to diesel. His photo is in the gallerie.
In any case, today
we are setting out on a mission to explore the world far from the
luxury of BMW to a horse farm in order to make a difference in
disadvantaged childrens lives. Hopefully we will make friends here
and put in some work in the name of our college. This is afterall a
service learning trip! Well, I must get to the service part or
“arbeit” meaning work, so Tschuss!