The first BMW car was built in Berlin: on 22 March 1929 the first BMW 3/15 PS’s left the production hall rented by BMW near Berlin-Johannisthal Airport. The first BMW motorcycle, the R 32 featuring an air-cooled twin-flat engine and shaft drive, was presented a few years earlier in 1923 at the German Car Show in Berlin. The BMW Plant Berlin was part of the team almost from the start: the history of BMW AG started with the production of aircraft engines in Berlin.
The first BMW motorcycle built in Berlin - a BMW R 60/2 — came off the assembly line in 1967, but the motorcycle of the Berlin Plant in the former aircraft engine plant started much earlier back in 1949 with production of the first parts for motorcycles still built in Munich back then. Over the years, motorcycle production was shifted step-by-step from Munich to Berlin. And to this day, Berlin remains the only production plant for BMW motorcycles the world over. Nearly all parts and components required for this purpose were manufactured at the Plant, with a total workforce of not quite 400 employees working in motorcycle production back then. Apart from consistently modernizing the facilities, motorcycle production as a whole was substantially expanded in 1983 upon the introduction of the K-Series, BMW AG investing some DM 500 million in an entirely new assembly building and system, as well as a highly automated production line for engine components. Ten years later the Company modernized and expanded the As
sembly Hall and the Machining Shop for engine and chassis components upon the introduction of the new Boxer generation. And to assemble the single-cylinder F 650 models built at the Berlin Plant since spring 2000, an additional assembly line was installed to provide the capacity required.
Today a total of 1,923 employees build up to 540 motorcycles a day in BMW’s three model series — motorcycles with a single-, two- or four-cylinder power unit. To achieve the growth targets set by the Company in the highly competitive motorcycle market, the BMW Group invested a total of more than Euro 117 million in the expansion of motorcycle production in the years 2001-2003. In February 2002 the Berlin Plant opened a brand-new production building for motorcycle assembly which, with its "intelligent" C-hook system, is absolutely unique throughout the worldwide motorcycle industry. Ultra-modern five-directional machining centers, a high-tech 10-directional laser cutting system, and a valve seat force-fit machine developed exclusively by BMW for production purposes are further examples of truly outstanding efficiency and flexibility — and, at the same time, serve to guarantee premium quality. The same premium quality is ensured by the new Engine Assembly Shop with its highly flexible assembly system and high
- tech testing equipment, which successfully entered operation in September 2003. Since November 2003 the BMW Plant Berlin has been painting motorcycle parts in a new Paintshop, using trendsetting technologies and working to the highest standards of environmental protection. In all, this makes BMW’s Motorcycle Plant in Berlin one of the most modern motorcycle plants in the world. Apart from motorcycles, the Berlin Plant has been manufacturing components such as brake discs for car production ever since 1979. Accordingly, Berlin plays an active role within the BMW Group’s production network, supplying automotive parts.