The new 1 series represents an unusually high level of modular outsourcing for BMW -- French partsmaker Faurecia supplies the complete front-end module, while German supplier ThyssenKrupp delivers the front and rear axle assemblies.
Grupo Antolin provides the 1 series' headliner. It is the Spanish supplier's first modular delivery for BMW. The Munich-based automaker's continuing sales success has put pressure on its European capacity and has encouraged BMW to consider more outsourcing.
The 1 series is the first BMW to be equipped with the BMW group's new scaleable electronic architecture. "This net board is very flexible -- for small cars or bigger cars," says Wilhelm Becker, BMW's senior vice president in charge of the company's small cars.
BMW plans to use the electronic architecture in the 3 series next and in the new generation of the X5 SUV.
Suppliers were closely involved in the development of the architecture, which will also enable dealer-delivered software upgrades. The 1 series, BMW's first car in the entry-premium segment, is built in Regensburg, Germany. BMW expects to sell around 150,000 units annually. The car will compete against entry-premium models such as the Mercedes A class and the Audi A3 as well as lower-medium cars such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.