Production of the new 7 Series sedan is now ongoing at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing. About three-and-a-half years after the sixth generation was launched, the BMW brand’s top model – its sales are small and pale in comparison to the 5 Series – has been refreshed.
A so-called “digital launch” was a different challenge for the production start: It means production of a new BMW is ramped to the full daily volume from one day to the next. In essence there is no formal Job One. BMW says to confirm high quality standards are fulfilled from the very first vehicle, complex components underwent virtual testing for fit accuracy prior to the start of production.
Since production of the first 7 Series began in 1977, more than 1.9 million BMW 7 Series cars have been built in Dingolfing. The global market was always critical to the success of the luxury sedan. The BMW 7 Series is easily the number-one export from the plant in Lower Bavaria. Last year, more than 90% of all units produced were exported, but BMW doesn’t break out 7 Series sales numbers.
Not surprisingly, the Chinese market plays an especially important role for the model: In 2018, 44% of global sales were delivered to customers in China.
Six-Cylinder Plug-In Hybrid
For the first time in a BMW Group vehicle, a plug-in hybrid will be available with a six-cylinder engine. In the BMW 745e / 745Le (combined fuel consumption: 2.3 – 2.1 l/100 km / 2.3 – 2.2 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 15.6 – 15.1 kWh/100 km / 15.7 – 15.6 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions from fuel: 2 – 48 g/km* / 53 – 50 g/km*), a 286 horsepower six-cylinder inline engine is combined with a 113 horsepower electric engine, for a total system output of 394 horsepower.
The new BMW 7 Series is the first BMW Group vehicle with a fourth-generation battery – and sooner or later we’ll be that a pure EV – regulation driven – will appear. The latest battery-cell technology gives the luxury sedan a laughable all-electric driving range of up to 58 kilometers*, ensures local emission-free driving and is virtually silent.
The battery installed in the BMW 745e / 745Le is manufactured in Dingolfing, just a few kilometers away, at the Competence Centre for e-drive Production (component plant 02.20). Dingolfing already supplies BMW Group vehicle plants worldwide with batteries and electric engines for production of electrified vehicles.
Digitalization of Production
The production process for Dingolfing’s top model is supported by a range of electronic solutions. For assembly of less-ordered special equipment, such as the rear center console, the vibrating alarm of a smartwatch alerts employees on the corresponding section of the line that an “exotic” is coming up and gives them instructions for additional work steps.
Data glasses are also used in training new staff. When learning new work steps, virtual assistance is projected into the employee’s field of vision. This enables rapid, sustainable learning in pre-assembly of complex components such as the rear light. This augmented-reality application is used at assembly training centers and constantly refined with cooperation between production planning and IT.
Digitalization also helps supplying assembly lines with components. The latest generation of autonomous ‘tugger trains’ is currently being piloted on longer routes between the warehouse and assembly hall. The capabilities of driverless tugger trains go beyond the automation of earlier solutions. New and smarter logistics helpers will enable dynamic route guidance according to delivery priority, with active obstacle avoidance.
CO2 EMISSIONS & CONSUMPTION
BMW 745e (BMW 745Le): Fuel consumption combined: 2.2 – 2.1 l/100 km (128.4 – 134.5 mpg imp) [BMW 745Le: 2.3 – 2.2 l/100 km (122.8 – 128.4 mpg imp)], electric power consumption combined: 15.4 – 15.0 kWh/100 km (62 miles) [BMW 745Le: 15.4 – 15.1 kWh/100 km (62 miles)], CO2 fuel emissions combined: 52 – 48 g/km (BMW 745Le: 53 – 50 g/km), exhaust standard: EU6d-TEMP.