BMW Group Thailand localizes high-voltage battery production

BMW:BMW Group Thailand localizes high-voltage battery production

Munich/Bangkok. BMW Group Thailand has set its sights
on another milestone in Thailand’s journey towards a future of
electro-mobility with local high voltage battery production – which
comprises production of the battery modules and the battery itself –
from 2019 onward at a new production facility located in WHA Chonburi
Industrial Estate 2. In partnership with the Dräxlmaier Group, one of
the world’s leading automotive suppliers and a strong systems partner
with BMW Group since 1966, BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand is now
laying a solid foundation for local battery production through
advanced training and qualification programs starting September 2018.

Mr. Christian Wiedmann, President, BMW Group Thailand said, “We are
very excited to be taking another big step forward in our
electro-mobility strategy. The start of local battery production will
enable us to better respond to growing demands for electrified
vehicles across ASEAN markets. Furthermore, this new capability adds
to the strengths of Plant Rayong, which has already been serving as an
automotive production hub in the region. With four BMW plug-in hybrid
models already rolling out from our assembly lines at Plant Rayong,
local battery production will certainly complement our production of
plug in-hybrids.”

Alongside the electric motor, the high-voltage battery is a central
element of partially and fully-electrified vehicles and a highly
sophisticated component that requires specialized skills to produce.
To strengthen the foundations for high-tech assembly work, BMW Group
Manufacturing Thailand and Dräxlmaier Group are engaging in an
intensive cooperation to bring this advanced expertise to Thailand.

Mr. Gerhard Irnesberger, Plant Manager Dräxlmaier Group Thailand,
said, “It is a very big honor, to produce the high voltage
storage local for BMW Thailand. Currently, there are two DRÄXLMAIER
teams working hand in hand from Germany and Thailand to lead the
project to a successful start of production”.

Since September 2018, staff from the Dräxlmaier Group have been
taking part in the battery production training program at BMW Group
Plant Dingolfing and the pilot plant for e-drivetrains to share their
expertise in cutting-edge production technologies such as laser
welding, plasma activation, robotics, gluing, automated optical and
electrical inline quality inspection along with end-of-line testing.
The training is also focused on supporting a highly-automated process,
which is an important part of battery module production, as well as
comprehensive quality assurance, product methodology and technology,
rework, and analysis.

With a strong grasp of battery production skills, the staff will work
on battery cells provided by suppliers in the Asian region along with
other imported parts such as aluminum housing, electronics, and cables
to roll out the high-voltage batteries that meet BMW Group world-class
standard and to meet Thailand’s local content requirement regulation.
Final batteries will then be transported to Plant Rayong for the
production of the PHEVs based on the BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series, and
BMW X5 in the first phase from 2019 onward.

“To ensure that the production process is in line with the BMW
Group’s exceptional standards of quality, experts from BMW Group
Munich are involved. Together, BMW Group and Dräxlmaier plan to invest
over 400 million baht to establish a new beacon for e-mobility
innovations in Thailand and the region. For BMW Group Thailand, we
have already planned and approved for government’s incentives by
Thailand’s Board of Investment (BoI) to further invest over 700
million baht for more BMW Plug-in Hybrid models to come”, Mr. Wiedmann added.

Original Press Release