Production Process

Paint Shop

BMW Manufacturing’s state-of-the-art paint shop covers about 700,000 square feet. Inside this sterile environment, robots, electrostatic adhesion, and the sensitivity of the human hand combine to create a tough yet flawless finish that protects as well as impresses. In addition to receiving two protective corrosion coats, sealant, primer, basecoat, and clear coat, every BMW also receives supplemental bead seams of seal for sound deadening, and cavity wax that adds further rust protection.

In all, there are over one dozen stages in painting your BMW, and a computerized tracking system monitors every car through each stage. The result is a classic finish that is consistent, durable, and tough. Equally impressive is the unique way the entire process is powered.

  • Our paint shop is the first “green” paint shop in the world. We use methane gas from a nearby landfill to power the Paint Shop ovens and most of the energy used in the Paint Shop.
  • There are about 6 miles of conveyors inside the Paint Shop.
  • The Paint Shop produces a finished vehicle every 78 seconds or 46 units each hour.
  • More than 4,000 gallons of paint travels through about 13 miles of stainless steel pipe.
  • It takes about 12 hours to complete the painting process, and the vehicle travels about four miles.
  • The Paint Shop contains 90 robots.
  • The Paint Shop applies five coats: Phosphate, E-Coat, Base Coat 1, Base Coat 2, and Clear Coat.
  • The Phosphate Coat provides corrosion protection for the car body and adhesion for the E-Coat.
  • The E-Coat is where the paint is electro-depositioned onto the car body for corrosion protection.
  • Underbody Sealer is where PVC is sprayed onto the critical seams of the car to ensure a quiet, water-tight underbody.
  • After all coats are applied, the total paint thickness is 120 microns or about the thickness of 5 human hairs.
  • About ¾ gallon of paint is used for the base coats (excluding clear coat).