MUNICH -- Automakers are racing to expand and reconfigure their global factory footprint as the industry pivots from fossil fuel to battery power.
Electric vehicle juggernaut Tesla erected three gigafactories across three continents in about three years.
The mission to add capacity is vital because automakers cannot sell what they don't have. The question is: Can it be done faster?
BMW Group now plans to slash the time it takes to build a new factory by 30 to 40 percent, the automaker's production boss, Milan Nedeljkovic, told Automotive News ahead of this month.
Depending on the country, he said, the preliminary work of planning a new assembly plant can take 12 to 24 months, and the actual construction adds another year or two.
Nedeljkovic said of the whole plant construction process: "If we can reduce [the planning portion of a project] from 24 to 12 [months], you are talking of three years down to two."