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40 years of success.
On 14 October 2011, the one-millionth engine of the year rolled off the assembly line: an impressive step towards a new all-time production high for BMW Plant Steyr.
Plant Steyr celebrated its 35-year anniversary: Since the ground-breaking on 21 June 1979, the plant, with its diesel engine development and engine production capabilities, had already become the largest industrial employer in Austria and one of the region’s most popular employers. Together with its engine plants in Munich and Hams Hall, the BMW Group gradually ramped up production of its new generation of modular engines at Plant Steyr and made it the Group’s primary plant for the new generation of diesel engines.
BMW Group Plant Steyr followed a record-breaking 2016 with another milestone: its 20-millionth engine, in its 35th year of production. The in-line six-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower turbo Technology, used in the BMW 740i Sedan and other models, rolled off the assembly line on 6 March, with 240 kW/326 hp and a maximum torque of 450 Nm.
For the past 40 years, the engine plant in Steyr has been a vital component of the BMW Group's global research and production network. A total of around 7.1 billion euros has been invested in the site since the plant was founded - equivalent to more than 490,000 euros, or the value of a single-family home, every day!
On 2-3 July, the BMW engine plant celebrated both its 25th anniversary and commissioning of its seventh phase of expansion. After roughly two years of construction, the site’s largest single expansion, including an approx. 37,000 m² new production hall, was complete, increasing the total area of the BMW Steyr site by about a third to approx. 310,000m². Total investment in this expansion added up to around 500 million euros. An innovative new six-cylinder petrol-engine generation also ramped up in July and BMW became the first manufacturer worldwide to use high-performance engines with aluminium-magnesium alloy crankshafts in its cars.
On 13 June 2007, the plant produced its 10-millionth engine. At an official ceremony attended by representatives of the city of Steyr, then Minister of Economy Martin Bartenstein, then Governor of Upper Austria Josef Pühringer and the member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production at that time, Frank-Peter Arndt, released the milestone engine.
The two-day engine was a logistical masterpiece, with a lead time, between mounting the basic engine and installation of the finished engine at one of the BMW vehicle plants in Germany, of just two working days. The first two-day engine was delivered to the vehicle plant in Dingolfing, Germany. In 2009, BMW Group Plant Steyr went on to win the Austrian Logistics Award and the "Fabrik2010" Award, presented by Fraunhofer Austria to Austria’s most efficient production facility.
1980s - 1990s
After a topping out ceremony on 25 March 1980, the Diesel Engine Development Centre was opened by then Federal Chancellor Dr. Bruno Kreisky and went on-stream on 17 October 1980. The Development Centre was equipped with state-of-the-art technology and provided workspace for 130 highly-qualified engineers. The topping out ceremony for the first production hall was held on 10 October.
On 29 April, BMW AG acquired the shares of SDP AG (Steyr Daimler Puch) and BMW-STEYR was renamed BMW Motoren GmbH. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW AG, the company was responsible for production of engines, as well as research and development for diesel engines, which was relocated from Munich to Steyr. 17 May 1982 marked a historic milestone as the start of series production of the six-cylinder M20 petrol engine.
The M21 diesel engine entered series production. With the new diesel engine, the BMW 524td became the most powerful diesel on the market. The first BMW series diesel engine – the M21 six-cylinder diesel engine motor with turbocharger fundamentally changed the image of auto-ignition. The top speed of 180 km/h and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 13.5 seconds set the benchmark for dynamic performance among diesels.
Ten years after ground-breaking, on 9 November, the one-millionth engine, a four-cylinder petrol engine, left the assembly halls.
Series production of the new direct-injection BMW diesel family developed in Steyr got underway, starting with the four-cylinder in March and followed by the six-cylinder in July. A year later, development of the world’s first V8 direct-injection engine was also complete.
On December 21, the company agreement between BMW and Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG was signed in Vienna.
BMW-STEYR Motoren GmbH was entered in the commercial register in March. BMW Group Plant Steyr’s impressive success story began in earnest on 21 June 1979 with a ground-breaking ceremony attended by then Austrian Federal Chancellor Dr. Bruno Kreisky. In 1979, BMW-STEYR employed a total of eight people.