BMW to build mammoth driving center in Korea

By Kim Yon-se
  • Published : Aug 30, 2012 - 20:22
  • Updated : Aug 30, 2012 - 20:22
Korea becomes first Asian country to have such a BMW facility

BMW Group Korea announced Thursday that it will build a large-scale driving center on Yeongjong Island, where Incheon International Airport is located, by 2014.

This will mark the fourth driving center of Munich-based BMW Group, following two in Germany and one in the United States.

The import automobile brand plans to pour 70 billion won ($61.9 million) into construction of the BWM Group Driving Center on a site of 250,000 square meters.

BMW Korea CEO Kim Hyo-joon had unveiled the group’s project “to build a driving center in the outskirts less than an hour’s drive from Seoul.”

A company executive noted that the coming driving center would be only the fourth such facility for BMW, and the only one in Asia. “In a sense, Korea could be regarded as an Asian hub of BMW.”

Meanwhile, the Korean unit plans to operate a 2 billion won fund for the foundation’s activities in its first year, and increase the operating funds to about 5 billion won over the next three to four years.

Additional funds will be raised by BMW Group Korea and the dealers, and by BMW and Mini buyers.

When a customer chooses to donate 30,000 won ($26) when purchasing BMW or Mini vehicles, three parties ― BMW Korea, BMW Group Financial Services Korea and the dealer ― will each donate the same amount to the foundation.

“If one customer donates 30,000 won, the combined money totals 120,000 won,” a company spokesman said. “If the number of customers is 50,000, the fund will come to 6 billion won.”

The funds will be used to support education and research and development concerning environmental issues.

By Kim Yon-se (