The preliminary final results of the Straßkirchen referendum are in: A clear majority of Straßkirchen residents voted in favor of building the new BMW Group facility. With more than 75% of the vote, the council’s “Yes to a BMW assembly plant for high-voltage batteries” motion was successful. Around 77% of the citizens voted.
The planned location will secure the future of the Bavarian vehicle plants in Dingolfing, Regensburg and Munich by supplying them with the high-voltage batteries required for e-mobility, said Milan Nedeljković, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production.
Preliminary visualisation of the 1st construction phase of the planned site for the production of high-voltage batteries in Straßkirchen and Irlbach, Lower Bavaria.
The next step on the road to plant construction will take place in October. The local land-use planning process provides for a second round of public consultation on the construction project, where the BMW Group will also present the many expert opinions it has commissioned on the impact of site development.
Upon completion of the initial construction phase, the BMW Group plans to employ around 1,600 people at the future production site. About 70% will come from existing BMW Group locations; these employees will be able to share their know-how during construction of the new site. Around 7,500 BMW Group employees already live within a 20-kilometer radius of the planned location. In cooperation with Plant Dingolfing, the BMW Group will also offer about 50 apprenticeships at the planned site.
The BMW Group has already registered permanent establishments in the municipalities of Straßkirchen and Irlbach and has therefore been subject to business tax since August of this year, regardless of construction of the plant. Business tax payments are likely to continue to rise as a result of the planned site, reaching a high, single-digit million euro amount per year by the end of the 2020s.
In Bavaria alone, the BMW Group evaluated a total of 20 potential sites according to numerous criteria in conjunction with “Invest in Bavaria”, the State of Bavaria's business promotion agency. Among these candidates, the municipalities of Straßkirchen and Irlbach were preferred over other available spaces in a multi-stage process. The decisive criteria included proximity to the BMW Group’s Bavarian car plants, exclusion of nature reserves, water protection areas and forests, the size and shape of the plot, combined with a flat topography, and the fact that several thousand employees already live in the immediate vicinity of the site.
After careful consideration, the possibility of embedding battery assembly within existing plant sites was ruled out, due to a lack of sufficient space for the required scope.
In February 2023, the BMW Group acquired a plot of 105 hectares in the municipal areas of Straßkirchen and Irlbach. The company also has purchase rights for approximately 29 additional hectares of adjacent land. This option area is currently managed by the respective owners.
More than 36,000 people in Bavaria are currently employed at the vehicle plants in Munich, Dingolfing and Regensburg alone. The planned location will secure the future of these plants by supplying them with the decisive component for electromobility: the high-voltage battery.
The company currently maintains business relationships with around 1,000 suppliers and service providers from Lower Bavaria, including about 120 from the Straubing-Bogen area.
In line with its “local for local” principle, the BMW Group is locating its high-voltage battery assembly facilities worldwide as close as possible to its vehicle plants: Production facilities for the sixth-generation BMW Group high-voltage battery are currently being built in Debrecen (Hungary), Woodruff, near Spartanburg (USA), San Luis Potosí (Mexico) and Shenyang (China). This approach safeguards production, even in the event of unforeseen political and economic developments. It will also strengthen existing locations, protecting jobs and creating new ones. The short distances involved also reduce the carbon footprint of vehicle production.