BMW/MINI UK Press Release: The BMW engine plant at Hams Hall has a new managing director. Robert Bolam, previously responsible for BMW Group’s UK pressings operations in Swindon, succeeds Harald Krüger who has returned to the company’s headquarters in Munich to take up a further senior position in the BMW Group production division.

As the new plant director at Hams Hall, Bolam is in charge of a workforce that now numbers just over 1,000 associates. Since September last year, three-shift operations have been introduced and 250 new employees taken on to meet increasing production requirements. This positive development follows the launch, in the second half of 2006, of a new family of petrol engines to power the new generation MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S models built at the company’s vehicle plant in Oxford.

Production at Hams Hall started exactly six years ago (January 2001). Together with plants in Munich (Germany) and Steyr (Austria), the West Midlands factory is one of three major engine production operations in BMW Group’s international manufacturing network. The state-of-the-art facility produces all of the company’s four-cylinder petrol engines for both BMW and MINI.

Last year’s total output of just over 217,000 engines set a new annual production record for the plant. The increased pace of production will continue during 2007 with output this year anticipated to go well above 300,000 units.

The continued increase in production output at Hams Hall in 2007 will be driven by the growing number of BMW and MINI vehicles powered by engines built at the UK plant. A new 1.4-litre petrol engine is about to go into series production to power the new generation MINI One that will be making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. New, too, is a high-tech four-cylinder petrol engine featuring second-generation, high-precision direct injection technology that will power the new three-door and revised five-door versions of the highly successful BMW 1 Series. Both of these models will also be making their debuts at Geneva.

BMW’s unique VALVETRONIC fully variable valve control together with the introduction of the latest direct injection technology in engines built at Hams Hall mean lower fuel consumption in combination with improved performance for BMW and MINI customers.

Plant director Robert Bolam says: “This is an exciting time to be coming to Hams Hall. The successful development of the plant reflects the record sales results of the BMW Group as a whole last year. We are confident that sales of BMW and MINI products will increase once again this year. Producing engines for both of these brands means that we are uniquely placed to contribute to, and profit from, their success in markets around the world.”