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The new BMW plant in Leipzig began operations today by launching its series production according to schedule. BMW will produce its 3 Series saloon in the new plant. The first vehicle was completed and turned over to BMW sales. It was a BMW 320i, manufactured by order of a customer from Leipzig.

The BMW Group has built a completely new automotive plant in Leipzig with all of the essential production stages of car manufacturing - body shop, paint shop and assembly. Construction, including integration and test operations, took just under three years. The decision to build a new BMW plant in Leipzig was made on July 18, 2001. The overall investment volume is estimated at 1.3 billion euros.

On a medium-range basis, the BMW plant in Leipzig will have a production capacity of up to 650 vehicles per day. During the start-up phase 2,500 people will be working on the plant premises. Assuming full capacity utilization, over 5,000 jobs will be created there in the long term, most of them BMW jobs. Based on experience, it is expected that an approximately equal number of additional jobs will be created in the region surrounding the plant.

The official plant opening ceremony is scheduled for May 13, 2005. Plant tours for the public will be offered starting in July. These tours will last about two and a half hours and are expected to be available for booking beginning in late May via the plant's website

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