Bmw improves its productivity with aging workforce

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 10, 2012

BMW AG has implemented many revisions at its production lines to increase efficiency as well as to account for the aging workforce. About 5 years ago, its managers realized that as Germany’s population is aging, so would its workers. They calculated that the workers’ age will average from 41 to 46 by 2017.

They didn’t want to wait that long to know what happens next so in 2007, an experimental assembly line was conducted on older employees to determine if they can stay with the pace. BMW’s production line in Dingolfing, which is located 50 miles northeast of its Munich headquarters, has hoists to help with aging backs. Its work benches’ height could be adjusted and it has wooden floors rather than rubber so that hips can easily swivel in doing repetitive tasks.

BMW learned that the older workers could keep up and they actually performed better than younger workers on another line at the same plant. So far, BMW has been able to implement these changes at many of its plants. Aside from an aging workforce, Germany is also experiencing a shortage of qualified engineers. That’s why many within the industry have made the decision to retain its good workers as long as possible by making plants adapt to what they need.

This is an urgent issue for luxury automakers like BMW and Audi since they depend more on labor than the volume manufacturers. The experience of these older workers on the assembly line just is irreplaceable. Stefan Bratzel, the director at the Center of Automotive Management in Bergisch-Gladbach, near Cologne, said that German automakers treat a shortage of engineers and skilled workers as a major issue, which will probably become acute within the next several years.

BMW said that over a dozen modifications have been made at the Dingolfing plant such as movable instruction screens with bigger letters and a magnifying glass, and a two-hour rotation cycle so that workers remain alert by switching tasks on a regular basis.

Topics: bmw

If you liked the article, share on:


Login or Create new account to add a comment!


Many have been excited with the impending arrival of the next-generation Jeep Wrangler and the new 2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, which is slated to be the brand’s new range-topping model....
by - October 21, 2016
Chevrolet has taken the wraps off its new Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). Tagged as the most extreme fuel-cell-powered...
by - October 21, 2016
Honda has unveiled the fifth generation of its hot-selling SUV – the 2017 Honda CR-V. The latest iteration of the CR-V should help it maintain its benchmark status in the...
by - October 21, 2016
Many are already expecting BMW to launch an ultra luxurious SUV that will serve at its new flagship by late 2018. Larger than the X5 and X6, the new X7...
by - October 21, 2016
Most of you may have heard or already have one of those autonomous home appliances doing the house chores. Thus, it’s not anymore unusual to see a car going places...
by - October 20, 2016