Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Business
Pursuits

BMW Never-Too-Old Assembly Insures Against Lost Engineers: Cars

Five years ago, managers at Bayerische Motoren Werke AG realized that with Germany’s graying population the average age of their workers would jump from 41 to 46 by 2017. So they decided to make it happen sooner.

In 2007, the luxury automaker set up an experimental assembly line with older employees to see whether they could keep pace. The production line in Dingolfing, 50 miles northeast of BMW’s Munich base, features hoists to spare aging backs, adjustable-height work benches, and wooden floors instead of rubber to help hips swivel during repetitive tasks.