BMW 6 Series The Birth Of A Sports Car – Part 3: Production

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BMW 6 Series The Birth Of A Sports Car – Part 3: Production

seriously fast ultra luxurious and a monster price tag for 70 years BMW has produced some of the best cars in the world [Applause] now they’re putting their reputation on the line betting millions on a brand-new sports car [Applause] for the first time ever go behind the scenes where no one has gone before from design studios in California to test tracks around the world inside the world’s most secretive sports car building process buckle up it’s a very bumpy road that’s about to end on the production line it began as a sketch an idea on a piece of paper elegant lines sleek shapes the perfect marriage of great design and classic engineering the days are over that the designer can just do a design and then the engineers has to figure it out and we now produce and develop cars in three years time that’s very fast and we can only do that when we as designers communicate with the engineer bringing a car into the world is like bringing a baby into a world a man can’t do it alone a woman can’t do it alone kind of kind of you need both of them and if they do with a lot of love it works a lot better it’s taken years but designers and engineers at BMW are close to turning that dream into reality from Africa to Tokyo they’ve tested prototypes of the car pushing it in chilling cold and choking heat now mass production is about to begin and what BMW has been calling the e63 the rest of the world will soon know it as the 645 CI the BMW headquarters are in Munich the new sports car will come to life about a hundred kilometers away in the town of Dingle thing it’s home to one of the largest automobile factories in the world Ahn’s glass is the factory manager the town of Dingle thing itself has only eighteen thousand five hundred inhabitants but there are 24 thousand people working at the factory today so we had to find a solution and became up with our commuter system Donovan is the Spindler system in London about 16,000 commuters travel 40,000 kilometers back and forth to work it’s as if the buses circled the earth once every day more than 2,000 different workers will be involved in making every single car intensive training is required for each one of those workers the focus of this car is precision BMW wants it to compete with high-end Mercedes and jaguars every single part of the new vehicle will have to be perfect workers are trained in Munich miniature car factory has been assembled here called the pilot plant mistakes can be made here lessons learned before the car itself goes into full production aside from kanuda let’s get up computer simulations are used as well planners can map out the entire production process identifying problems before they become reality all of the individual parts of the new car

also live in the computer and they can be used to simulate every step of the construction process this is production hall 52 where the 645 CI will be built to get ready for the new car the plant is being expanded already two different BMW models are built here but the new sports car is pushing the limits of the factory the workers here are under pressure to – press the most fun I have with my work is actually the contact with other people to see how enthusiastic they can become they’re very ambitious and they naturally want to achieve the goal that has been set for them one thing I’ve always noticed here is the incredibly strong way our workers identify with the plant and their product you didn’t defeats you workers at the plant are the last line of defense if things aren’t working properly if the vehicle isn’t perfect they’re the last ones who can catch the mistakes today they’re taking the lessons learned at the pilot plant and putting them into practice the new sports car has more than 20,000 separate parts the entire assembly process must be retooled to make it the plant isn’t ready to start making the car yet for now Foreman must make sure every single part of the sequence works what they find our problems each sticker indicates a mistake that has to be corrected before actual production begins BMW has spent millions just designing this new car company executives visit the plant frequently to make sure nothing goes wrong now they want to unveil the card auto shows in the fall and winter missing deadlines could force the company to cancel those shows and raise doubts about the quality of the new car the success of the new car will depend on getting dealers around the world excited about it select BMW dealers are brought to Germany to see a prototype it’s a closed-door top-secret presentation a fashion show for the car set its way from one [Applause] car dealers are like seismographs their reaction is a first hint of how the new car will be received by the public at large it has a powerful engine advanced steering but what the dealers really need to sound is the cars luxury it will have a price tag of $100,000 for that kind of money consumers will want to be pampered this is the first time the dealers have seen the car they’ll have to sell in a few months their impressions will help fuel the first wave of publicity to really help sell the car the news 645 ci is about to take a trip to France the cote d’azur southern france a heady mix of beauty and wealth the new BMW coupe is here and it’s ready for its close-up the pictures taken today will help sell the new car around the world just like a human face a car has its best side a style guide has been developed that gives exact instructions on just how the new car should be photographed the new car is aimed at the very rich and has a price tag of about $100,000 these pictures will have to sell that image of wealth and glamor this isn’t an actual 645 CI just a handmade prototype mass production is still several months away in fact the car is still top secret as soon as the photo shoot is over it’s quickly covered up again developing a sales brochure is only one small part of a massive marketing campaign planned for this new car millions have been spent on designing the car millions more will be spent making sure they sell when they’re

finally made BMW sales staff from around the world are brought to Germany hidden from the inquisitive eyes of the press they’re briefed on how best to push the car for most of these people this is their first contact with the new coupe this is a car that is supposed to compete with high-end Mercedes and Jaguars it’s an incredibly competitive market juergen Coors Ahrens team are responsible for breaking into that market and coming out on top we’ve been planning this for so long and now the time has come now we can actually go out and do the job getting the job done down on the ground as we say from now on everything is going to be a bit more fast-paced more hectic and more exciting before they can sell it the sales team need to get a better feel for the car but the important thing now is that the product and launch managers finally get to drive the car and make a live comparison experience has shown how important it is to actually drive the cars as this is especially true of the six series BMW’s slogan is the ultimate driving machine it’s a hard thing to promote if you haven’t driven the car yourself they concentrate on something called the direct switch that means hopping from the BMW right into a Jaguar then back into the BMW the sales staff get to act like test drivers accelerating taking curves at top speed and braking hard it’s an exciting day of driving well this is the car that in the US customers have been waiting for for 15 years because that’s when the last six years were sold so they have very high expectations about the agility and the sportiness so you really want to promote the performance of the car the fact is very agile very easy to drive and that you can drive it very aggressively and fun every single day in the whole way that a new automobile has to make test drives the machines that make it have to go through test runs before the car can be produced robots are a vital part of this process all have to be taught their new jobs in a few months this factory will have to mass-produce thousands of cars all have to be exactly the same getting the robots working properly is the only way the company can meet the demand they hope the new car will create every part that leaves this workstation is immediately examined measurements are taken down to the last millimeter robots check themselves to make sure everything is right 90 – my ideal factory is one in which you can realize the goals you’ve set for yourself by that I mean production level costs and above all quality the news 6:45 CI isn’t like other BMW cars it’s a unique combination of aluminum and steel new welding riveting and adhesive techniques all had to be designed to build the automobile the newly trained robots are finally up to the job but it can’t all be done by machine the most difficult welding joints in the

front section still have to be done by hand no robot has been able to master the enormous variety of movements that are necessary to do this work one of the many intriguing parts of the new car is an aluminum tube that connects the motor in the instrument panel in the past aluminum tubes like this at a very limited use the shapes were confined to whatever could be welded or pressed or bent today high pressure is used inside the tooth to form them into shapes that were impossible several years ago the new technology helps the car slim down frames and axles made this way can be 35% lighter but still be as firm as in the past along with new mixtures of steel and aluminum the 645 CI has also taken a page from Formula One racing a sequential manual gearbox or SMG is an option on the new coupe it copies the style of shifting perfected on the tracks of the Formula One circuit the f1 cars are faster but the new coupe boasts that it can go from 0 to 60 in a little more than 5 seconds and just like Formula one the heart of the new sports car is its engine the eight cylinder motor produces the power and performance demanded by the people who will buy this car while robotics are the key to the body of the car fine craftsmanship remains an essential part of making motors constant testing of the engine ensures it will perform on the road even in ways it likely won’t ever be put to the test after it leaves the factory patricia Geller Schroeder is responsible for the new sports cars engine so far she likes what she hears my life the driving performance has clearly been improved we’re doing pretty well even better than we’d planned at the beginning of the project there’s still some fine-tuning we have to do on the exhaust system to get the sound just right what the sound says about us has to be what we wanted to say no one wants an engine that sounds small or underpowered the right sound is as important to customers as the right look to make sure that sound is being produced careful recordings are made to hear properly all of those sources of noise are minimized tape covers anything that could rattle or hum and interfere with the rumble of the engine [Applause] [Applause] the sound of the car needs to be recorded not just so engineers can decide if it purrs like a sports car should the engine needs to meet certain standards for both noise and missions this car is the first one to be tested using the exhaust system that will soon be mass-produced and placed into the 645 CI the microphones record a dense powerful sound volume and emissions are within legal limits for both the convertible and the hardtop we’ve managed to achieve the goals we set for ourselves so that when you’re going high-speed on a country road the driver can really hear the driving noises but when you’re driving at normal speed on an expressway let’s say you’re driving at 70 miles per hour we want you to hear a balanced mixture of wind

rolling noise and driving and if there’s a particularly strong engine load then we want that to be clearly heard inside the car as well while engineers are happy about the sound of the car the production line is about to get an unpleasant surprise after years of design and testing an important part of the car won’t fit production hall 52 at one of BMWs largest plants so-called pre-series models of the company’s new sports car have been made before mass production begins each of these pre series cars must be tested if a mistake creeps in now it will be repeated thousands of times they’re testing and they’re looking for mistakes the kind of thing and especially critical buyer might notice they also look at things a purchaser would probably never see that means they really look under the lining and paneling test driver Stefan menaker takes a pre-series convertible out for a spin over 30 kilometers at high speeds he tests everything during the stopover he tries to put the windows up he can’t he mentioned buying a hundred thousand dollar car where the windows don’t work back at the factory they already know about the problem engineers say they can fix it in two weeks not everything can be manufactured at the main BMW plant there are just too many parts a subcontractor works on the instrument panel painstakingly molding individual pieces of leather together thus is putting on this is the master pattern if mistakes are made here they will show up in every single car that’s made this version of the instrument panel will never get near the inside of a car when the work is finally done the metal impression of this panel will be made it’s this metal version of the panel essentially a mold which will be used to make the dashboards that will be seen in cars around the world under the company is responsible for the next step of the process when the metal impression arrives it’s put to work a plastic skin protecting it is removed then a robot was a thick mass of material into the mold heap causes the material to expand and turn into foam the instrument panel begins to take on its shape each panel is a game inspected with him and I when it’s been cut and welded it’s then sent to the assembly division here the panel is prepared for the installation of the heating and air conditioning the navigation system in the radio the CD player and the onboard computer the parts for the instrument panel have arrived from BMWs main plant like a giant jigsaw puzzle they have to fit perfectly into the spaces created for

them with all the measuring and checking design and engineering nothing should go wrong but something happens that no one expected one of the speakers doesn’t fit into the hole created for it it’s a half a millimeter too big a new smaller speaker will have to be found work comes to a halt the company has promised a new part by the end of the week outside more tests are under way the motor which puts up the roof has to work silently it can’t produce the slightest unwanted sound an acoustics expert listens carefully out on the special track the new car is spared nothing every one of the Prix Series models gets checked here at the factory each vehicle undergoes a comprehensive quality program that can take up to 12 days to complete the tester believes he heard a small unwanted noise inside the car he can’t tell where it’s coming from once again the convertible is put through its paces in the lab using a special microphone the expert tracks down the source of the rattle it’s a barely perceptible sound coming from the glove compartment but a report is still made to the development department so that they can substitute in improve part finally it’s off to the showers in specially designed climate chamber 3,500 litres of water come crashing down on the convertible in just 10 minutes a tropical storm inside the factory the car is tipped and tilted no water should be getting in the inside of the car remains dry but engineers notice that there’s moisture where the foldable roof gets stored the rubber ceiling leaks another problem that will have to be cleared out the engineers of the factory are running out of time and they’re still finding things to fix SN quits against mass production will begin shortly soon we’re going to have a presentation we’ve taken one of the pre series models and tested it as thoroughly as possible so that we can then decide whether it’s ready for mass production or not the decision on when to start building will be made by senior BMW management they’ve already picked a date for the hardtop but the convertible could be delayed what I noticed was the coat of paint on the side up there toward the front there are still a few little things the side seems slightly cloudy as though the paint hadn’t been homogeneous enough another thing is around the mirror triangle and sidewall by the door I think the gaps can be improved and then the rubber sealing on the roof cover that still isn’t 100% tight we’ll have to make it perfect the whole point of my work is to make sure that it’s the customers who return to the dealer and not the cars not only do they have to show the car to BMW management but the annual auto shows are looming where BMW wants to unveil the 645 CI production like this will have to start soon where the car won’t be ready for people to buy from the beauty of the cote d’azur to the pages of a catalogue BMWs new sports car is ready to be sold around the world we were on the Cote d’Azur beautiful elegant here in the context of these speedboats which once again emphasized the whole idea of power then here I have the element of sea spray and then a beautiful still shot where we’ll really show the size what you see here that’s a normal door it’s like this and then this car is simply incredible the sales team is ready but will the car be finished in time finally the flag has been dropped at one of BMWs largest factories mass production of the company’s new sports car is underway enormous sheets of steel and aluminum are brought in each can weigh as much as

35 tons the sheets are cut and stacked for later use enormous presses form the sheets into parts of the car’s body Roots side brains and floor plates begin to appear this machinery can produce more than 300,000 parts everyday robots begin adding lighter elements to the new car whether welded bolted or glued nearly 500 individual parts come together to form the skeleton of the car the robots make over five thousand welds on each body then the basic structure is ready for painting painting this car is especially challenging it’s made of steel aluminum and plastic and yet the paint has to look the same no matter what surface it goes on first the car is cleaned and then rotated through the primer the cars turned twelve times in various tanks twelve somersaults that help give every spot an even coating putting the first layer on in this way ensures the car has a uniform base it’s also environmentally friendly rotation dipping significantly reduces the amount of waste and waste chemicals produced once the car is dried and cleaned it receives a total of four coats of paint and enamel elaborate precautions are taken to prevent even a single grain of dust from getting on the car this area of the factory is as clean as any operating room there is no particular order in which the cars are produced this 645 hardtop is going to be black but the next car could be a completely different color for the robots switching colors is no problem at all it takes 18 hours to finish the painting what happens next is a bit of scientific magic lacquer to give the car a brilliant shine is applied as a powder it’s given a charge like static electricity to bind it to the car the car is grounded and attracts the powder like a magnet very little powder is wasted any powder that doesn’t stick to the car is recycled pump back and reused when it’s applied the lacquer is white but when heated to 140 degrees centigrade the powder turns clear the colour underneath shines through when the body passes the critical high of a painting specialist it sent down to the factory’s assembly line for the first time the new BMW sports car is rolling through the factory all the bugs have been worked out now the company holds its breath to see if the public likes it it’s show time for the new BMW sports car for two weeks every September the International Automobile Show in Frankfurt is the focus of the whole industry BMW has just published the first official photographs of the new 645 CI now the veil has finally been lifted completely both a convertible and a hardtop of this model have been designed but so far just the hardtop is ready for the public for the first time thousands of journalists and visitors get a look at the real thing it draws the public like a magnet while it is popular very few will be able to afford it the new car costs about a hundred

thousand dollars despite the price many of these first models are already spoken for in fact the cars now rolling off the line at BMW factory are being shipped quickly all over the world but after all the sophisticated technology used in building the basic car human workers now become vitally important the company has received special orders from customers who want to be at the front of the line these workers make sure each car is finished in exactly the right way they need about 20 minutes to install all the parts of the instrument panel in all more than 20,000 separate pieces come together to make the 645 CI to keep the assembly line moving supplies are constantly brought to each workstation Computers monitor the progress of each and every car bigger sections such as the axles motors and undercarriage are brought to the car preassembled to help speed up construction from Frankfurt the new car is rolled into a lager Spain here the 6:45 CI will be unveiled to gain this time for reporters from car magazines daily newspapers and TV shows the opinions forum today could be the difference between success or failure for the new car after years of hard work millions of dollars in designing and testing what happens on this one day is critical these journalists need to be impressed from new car to take off and there’s only one way to really do it like the test drivers before them the journalists need to get behind the wheel to form their opinions as the first to take their car out senior managers from BMW look nervously on running on that back at the BMW plant the workers don’t have time to worry about reviews it’s their job to keep the cars rolling off the line so there will be enough to fill dealerships around the world once it gets to this stage assembly takes just 12 hours it’s an incredible pace but it only works now because it was tested and perfected during the months of trials and dry runs even when they’re put together the cars still don’t leave the factory each vehicle rolls off the assembly line and over to the testing stations the steering system is the first thing to be examined a checklist is carefully followed every part of the car is tested once again without actually moving the car is accelerated to 150 kilometres an hour

on the plant for the paint is polished and checked levers and buttons on the inside are tried once more managers walk the line to ensure nothing is missed these cars are the result of more than three years of hard work this is a marvelously it’s nice to make a contribution to make it absolutely flawless with the final adjustments of the headlights the car is on its way in the course of production it’s been touched by more than 2,000 people here in the factory of course the final test will come out in the real world and for a car that’s supposed to compete with Mercedes and Jaguars the toughest market is the United States a cold winter’s day in Detroit BMWs new sports car is having its premiere at the North American International Auto Show years of development millions already spent in design and testing the success of this car depends on how it’s received right now world premiere here in Detroit ladies and gentlemen this what will be revealed now is a new interpretation of the ultimate driving machine [Applause] and first the title and then the convertible Harlem bail for almost four years this car has existed only as an idea drawings became clay models than prototypes the look of the car changing subtly along the way and now finally the real thing a car that was long awaited is now receiving praise and attention from around the world you just feel happy about it I can’t really say that I’m relieved because I always knew it would be a success I’m happy the reaction has been so positive it’s been like in a maternity ward we may not have given birth to any children but now I can imagine what it must be like Adrian been hodong designed the exterior and what feels to him like another lifetime this is the first time he’s ever seen the car he created we’ve been looking forward to it for some years some three years or so last I saw the car I was in clay and now to see it in in metal and with the crowd around it there’s a good feeling it’s great everybody that worked on the car has been looking forward to this moment unfortunately not everybody that worked on it can be here so I feel quite good that you know I was able to be here and witness it firsthand and it’s cool what’s also going to be cool is to see the car out on the road and its natural habitat I’m looking forward to that Chris Bengal was in charge of the design both inside and out it began for him as a concept car something that would never be mass-produced but now it’s a reality it’s the birth it’s a nice feeling like that and we’re kind of the mothers in that whole thing not the father maybe a lot of fathers but maybe we’re the mother of the whole process and the six was born beautifully when he came on really nice on the people and when you think four years earlier we showed the Xena and GT concept car and how radical that was then and now as a six years perfect that’s nice that’s good fuming it’s taking years to go from first idea to final product the work of thousands of people all focused on a single goal the birth of a new sports car now there’s nothing more they can do the new BMW 645 ci is on its own what began as a mere watercolour drawing has come to life to take its place in the history of BMW and on roads around the world