March 24, 2006

BMW Group opens new testing centre in Sweden

Munich, Germany – The BMW Group has opened a new testing centre in Arjeplog, Sweden, located just 55 km from the Arctic Circle. The facility will allow development testers for BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce to extensively test new vehicle components and models.

The facility took ten months to build, at a cost of 16 million Euros, and will employ eleven permanent workers. The testing centre includes offices and conference rooms, workshops, a heated garage for 25 vehicles and an unheated one for 60 vehicles, and 80 outdoor parking spaces with block heater connections. Should the weather not be cold enough, there are also eight climate chambers that can cool a vehicle to minus 30 degrees Celsius. The testing ground covers 28 hectares and includes a testing circuit, driving dynamics area, and asphalt areas which can be heated or cooled; drivers can also take vehicles out on prepared ice tracks on a nearby frozen lake. The area is a preferred winter testing ground for the entire automotive industry, but BMW is now the first manufacturer to have a testing centre constructed exclusively for its use.

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