On Friday, 15 December 2017, representative of the BMW Group and of the Czech Republic announced a plan to construct a new proving ground on an approximately 500 ha site near the city of Sokolov in the Karlovy Vary region. The BMW Group anticipates that the facility will be put into operation at the beginning of the next decade and will employ several hundred people. The total value of the investment will be on the order of hundreds of millions of euros. This will be the company’s first development facility in Eastern Europe.
“Today is the successful culmination of negotiations conducted over a period of two and a half years and involving, on the Czech side alone, more than 200 people from various departments and institutions at the national and regional levels. The BMW Group’s proving ground is an outstanding example of the investments with higher value added on which the Czech Republic is now focused and for which we are striving at CzechInvest,” says Karel Kučera, CEO of CzechInvest, emphasising the importance of the investment for the Czech Republic.
At the planned development centre in Sokolov, the BMW Group will, for example, continue development in the areas of electromobility, digitalisation, autonomous driving and assistance systems. The BMW Group is building the new proving ground because its existing centres in Aschheim near Munich, Miramas in France and Arjeplog in Sweden no longer have sufficient capacity to fulfil vehicle-testing requirements. The company sought suitable locations for the new centre in Germany and neighbouring countries over a period of several months and found that Sokolov in the Czech Republic best met its requirements.
More information is available in the press release issued by BMW and on the BMW PressClub website BMW PressClub (https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/global).