2012 BMW 1-Series Hatchback BMW Performance ConceptEnlarge Photo
Even so, it's a facinating process to observe and there's now a video showing how much effort actually goes into making the new BMW 1-Series compact, from bare sheets of steel right up to the final inspection.
Our two hosts visit the factory and the first, most obvious aspect is its size. For a small car, a 346 acre and 9,000 person site seems massive - more like a small town.
Once inside, we can see the construction of the 1-Series right from the original shapes cut out of 400 tons per day of steel, to those sections being pressed into more recognisable shapes. The sections are then welded into a "body in white", the bare shell of the car.
The car is then checked for defects before heading to the paint shop where paint is applied electrostatically to reduce waste - the electrically charged paint particles are attracted to the opposite charge of the car body.
The 1-Series then moves to the assembly line where the engine, interior and other components are fitted before the vehicle is finally complete.
So next time you go to buy a new car, just remember that it, like your place in life itself, is just a small element of a much bigger picture...