Sokolov: BMW Group to build new development center in Eastern Europe

The BMW Group creates additional space for the development of new vehicles: in Sokolov in the Czech Republic a fourth development centre at the beginning of the next decade. On a 500-hectare Area in the room, Karl mountain, then the cars of the future are to be developed and tested. The focus is on the areas of electrification, digitization and automated Driving. At the new location, Sokolov, several hundred jobs are to be created, the total investment in the three-digit million range.

It is particularly advantageous from a Munich point of view, the new development centre in Sokolov is located only 2.5 hours from the Munich research and innovation centre (FIZ) and, accordingly, quickly to the practical testing of new components and technologies can be achieved. Sokolov supplemented from the beginning of the early 2020s, the existing test area-network of the BMW Group: Since 1971, the company uses a fair grounds in Aschheim near Munich, in 1986 the test site in the South of France Miramas and, since 2006, the North offers Swedish base Arjeplog extensive possibilities for testing in the winter environment.

Dr. Herbert Grebenc: “We have in Sokolov ideal conditions and the area found, we need to have for vehicle tests. We are going to build our first development site in Eastern Europe, opened new opportunities and is a milestone in the history of the company. The previous cooperation with the property owner Sokolovská uhelná, as well as all of the political representatives is extremely trusting.“

Mr Tomáš Hüner (Czech Minister for industry and trade): “today, the BMW Group announced investment for the construction of a new proving grounds for future vehicle technologies in the Region of Karlovy vary, the government of the Czech Republic and the BMW Group to prepare a joint statement of cooperation. The government will deal promptly with a proposal to Details for this statement. The Ministry of industry and trade welcomes such investments, in addition to highly skilled and specialized jobs of high added value for the Czech economy.”

Jana Vildumetzová (President of the Region of Karlovy vary): “For the Region of Karlovy vary, the plans of such a significant Investor, such as the German automotive manufacturer BMW Group is of great importance. Our Region is one of three regions in the Czech Republic, located in the structural change. There is a lack of research, development and Innovation. We are struggling with the lack of jobs. In Sokolov, the mining industry will be in the future declined, and the people there will be looking for new challenges. With the creation of several hundred jobs through the construction of a testing site for automated Driving, we are writing a new Chapter for the development of our Region. This opens up the citizens of Sokolov and the Region as a whole attractive employment opportunities in the development environment. The project comes at exactly the right time, and we will do everything to ensure that the Region of Karlovy vary is the company a good Partner and we will assist in the implementation.”

Karel Kučera (CEO of CzechInvest): “Today we successfully conclude two and a half years of negotiations in which on the Czech side, more than 200 representatives of various departments and institutions were involved at the national and regional level. The new BMW Group Testing centre is a flagship project for investment with high added value, for which the Czech Republic is today, and in the last few years, a goal of Czech invest.“

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