SHENYANG  — A new factory of BMW Group’s joint venture in China opened Thursday in Shenyang, northeast China’s Liaoning Province, with an investment totaling 15 billion yuan (about 2.2 billion U.S. dollars).

Plant Lydia of BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. (BBA), a joint venture between BMW and Chinese carmaker Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., will boost BMW’s annual output in China to 830,000 vehicles, the automaker said. It is the biggest single investment of the German automaker in China.

Located in the Tiexi District of Shenyang, Plant Lydia covers a total area of 2.9 million square meters. It has ancillary facilities like a body shop, paint shop, final assembly lines, and a large data center.

The plant is covered with a gigabit 5G network to meet the bandwidth requirements for technologies like augmented reality (AR) and real-time video transmission.

“Plant Lydia is the first factory that BMW Group has planned and simulated completely in a virtual environment from the beginning of design,” said Zhang Tao, head of the factory. She added that, in the construction stage, she could simultaneously see the actual construction site and the construction effect shown via virtual reality.

Shenyang is BMW Group’s largest production base worldwide. The total number of the group’s employees in China has exceeded 28,000.

Originally published by Xinhau