BMW Group Thailand together with their long-standing systems partner Dräxlmaier Group will begin local production of high-voltage batteries for the range of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) from next year in Thailand.
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.”
BMW Group and Dräxlmaier Group also plan to invest over 400 million Baht (RM 51 million) to establish a new beacon for e-mobility innovations in Thailand and the region. BMW Group Thailand has also planned and received approval for government incentives to further invest over 700 million Baht (RM 89 million) for more BMW PHEV models.
Since September this year, 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, glueing, 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.
Technicians will work on battery cells provided by suppliers in the Asian region along with other imported parts such as aluminium housings, electronics, and cables to roll out the high-voltage batteries that not only meet Thailand’s local content requirement but also BMW Group standards. The new production facility is located in WHA Chonburi Industrial Estate 2.
Finished batteries will then be transported to Plant Rayong about 14 kilometres away for the production of selected PHEV models from 2019 onwards. BMW Thailand currently offers nearly the complete range of iPerformance models: 330e, 530e, 740Le, X5 xDrive40e, and i8.