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Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček visits former spoil tip where BMW Group is building its Development Centre.
The Czech Republic’s Minister of Industry and Trade, doc. Ing. Karel Havlíček, PhD., MBA, has paid a visit to Sokolov region to visit, among other sites, the Podkrušnohorská výsypka [spoil tip] where a new road is being constructed to provide access to a future industrial zone. The zone will be home to BMW Group’s new development centre dedicated mainly to issues associated with the future of personal transport, such as new sources of motive power or autonomous cars.
Representatives of the Region and local municipalities updated the Minister on current developments in the region and in particular the expected benefits to be derived from investments such as that being made by BMW Group. Such investments create jobs not just in the related projects but also in associated industries, such as services.
The example of BMW Group also shows that strong and responsible partners can become engaged in the region in more ways than solely by operating a facility there. BMW Group participates in working groups focused on the region’s future development, supports a range of cultural and sporting events in the Sokolov area, and acts as the main partner of Sokolov’s Children’s Technical University established at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of West Bohemia. During his visit to the region, Minister Havlíček greatly appreciated the responsible approach of BMW Group.
BMW Group supports Children’s Technical University
The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of West Bohemia has launched its Children’s Technical University project in four cities in western Bohemia (Pilsen, Cheb, Klatovy and Sokolov). Providing places for 136 elementary school pupils, the projects aims to introduce the children to technologies and technical fields of study. BMW Group acts as the project’s general partner in Sokolov, where the project is implemented in cooperation with the local Integrated Secondary School of Technology and Economics.
With its actions, BMW Group is demonstrating its responsible approach to the region in which it plans to develop state-of-the-art technologies for its future vehicles. Following up on the support given to projects such as BMW Road Safety Show, providing traffic education to children and partnering with the Sokolovský Quarter Marathon, BMW Group has begun supporting technical education for local pupils.
THE BMW I HYDROGEN NEXT AT THE IAA CARS 2019
As one of the pioneering figures in the field of electric mobility, the BMW Group is equipping itself for the myriad requirements of future mobility, as illustrated by the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT fuel cell development vehicle awaiting visitors at the IAA Cars 2019 show. The BMW Group is working on the assumption that, in future, various alternative types of drive system will exist alongside one another, as there is no single solution that covers the complete spectrum of customers’ mobility needs worldwide. Hydrogen vehicles represent an important alternative and addition to battery-electric drive systems. This rich diversity of electrified drive technologies – of which plug-in hybrids are another example – underlines the BMW Group’s commitment to achieving zero-emission mobility as part of a well thought-out strategy.
In 2022, the BMW Group is planning to present the next generation of hydrogen fuel cell electric drive systems in a small-series vehicle based on the current BMW X5. The BMW i Hydrogen NEXT provides an initial glimpse of what this model has in store. The BMW Group would start offering fuel cell vehicles for customers in 2025 at the earliest, but the timing very much depends on market requirements and overall conditions.
CONSTRUCTION OF ACCESS ROAD COMMENCES
A ground-breaking ceremony on 19 September 2019 marked the beginning of the construction of an access road leading to what will become the Podkrušnohorská výsypka industrial zone. The industrial zone will be home to BMW Group’s development centre in the Czech Republic.
The list of attendees at the ceremony left no room for doubt as to the project’s significance for the whole region. Present were the country’s Transport Minister Vladimír Kremlík, Governor of the Karlovarský Region Jana Mračková Vildumetzová, Helwig Lehman of BMW Group and other distinguished guests. The access road will link the industrial zone to the II/210 road at a point between the municipalities of Dolní Nivy and Boučí.
BMW GROUP SERVING AS GENERAL PARTNER OF SOKOLOVSKÝ BMW GROUP QUARTER MARATHON
The sixth annual quarter marathon in Sokolov was organised by the city’s Municipal House of Culture. For 2019, the event found its general partner in BMW Group. The race is part of the grand pre-holiday event “Hurááá, prázdniny” [Hooray, Holidays!] that takes place in Sokolov every year in late June. The race is a very popular sporting event in the region.
Stretching to a little over 10 kilometres, the race took runners over a mostly level course, new for this year, and wound through the city centre. Runners were thus able to enjoy the enthusiastic support of fans and passersby. The Sokolovský BMW Group Quarter Marathon was open to both male and female runners, ideally aged 16 or over.
The 2019 edition of the race was completed by 465 runners. The men’s category found its winner in Vojtěch Šulc. He was followed by Pavel Procházka in second place and Jan Sokol in third. The women’s category was won by Ivana Sekyrová with Jana Zímová and Martina Bradáčová second and third, respectively. The best placed runners received their prizes from the Mayor of Sokolov, Renata Oulehlová, who was accompanied by Katharina Will of BMW Group.
For BMW Group, the support provided to the quarter marathon in Sokolov meant its first involvement with an event of this kind in the region. “The fact that the carmaker did not partner the sporting event in name only was clearly demonstrated by the active involvement of BMW Group’s project managers Katharina Will and Petr Pospíšil in the organising team. I am sure the successful cooperation between BMW Group and the Sokolovský Quarter Marathon will continue for years to come,” said Sokolov Mayor Renata Oulehlová.
BMW Group intends to be actively involved in other cultural and sporting events in the region. Citizens will notice the presence of BMW Group for example during municipal festivities in Chodov in September and at the Festival of Light in Karlovy Vary.
The Sokolov region is of considerable importance for BMW Group. The carmaker has decided to build its BMW Group Future Mobility Development Centre (FMDC) in the area. The centre will focus on developing self-driving cars and safety assistants. It will emerge at Podkrušnohorská výsypka [spoil tip] in an industrial zone located in the vicinity of Lomnice, Dolní Nivy and Sokolov. Once in full operation, the centre will directly create some 700 jobs, with more jobs supported throughout the supply chain and in services. BMW Group is active in supporting not only sporting and cultural events in the region but also in backing local technical secondary schools and technical faculties of the University of West Bohemia and Czech Technical University in Prague.
We are constantly looking for people to help us meet the transportation challenges of the future. We want to contribute to the world taking a positive direction. Anyone who shares these values with us will find an exciting and fulfilling career at BMW. Creating and operating the BMW Group Development Centre in the Karlovarský Region will enable us to offer up to 700 jobs across a wide range of roles, from operators through to mechanics and technicians to highly skilled engineering positions.
BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOUR
We bring the future to the Karlovarský Region.
SENSITIVE APPROACH TO THE ENVIRONMENT
When building new sites and premises, we take the associated environmental impacts very seriously. Sustainability is an integral part of all our processes and business models. Global challenges, such as urbanisation and climate change, create opportunities for us to develop innovative products and services. Sustainability thus secures our long-term economic success. The benefits of our innovations do not stop with the customers: we also want to exert a positive influence on society as a whole and the environment it exists in.
The environmental aspect was a key factor for us when determining the right location for the BMW development centre in the Czech Republic. The latest studies show that building and operating our centre near the city of Sokolov will create very limited impacts on the environment.