Exploring the BiW Stamping & Assembly Plant in Terminator: Dark Fate Inside the Factory, and Whose Factory Was It, Anyway?

In a rare instance, Terminator: Dark Fate brings the world of automotive stamping to the big screen. We’re diving into this box office hit to examine the stamping factory featured in the film, along with the forming operations and parts that play a pivotal role.

For those unfamiliar with the movie, Terminator: Dark Fate revolves around a cybernetically enhanced soldier from the future who joins forces with Sarah Connor to protect a young girl from a new, more lethal Terminator than ever before.

The 2019 film, starring Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, marks James Cameron’s return to directing the franchise. Interestingly, although it’s the sixth installment, it serves as the sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

This allows you to skip all the subsequent films, including Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator: Genisys, which both flopped at the box office, and jump to Terminator: Dark Fate. For this reason, some are calling it the best film in the franchise—a touchy subject among hardcore fans!

The movie delivers the action we crave, and Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role as the original Terminator model, the Cyberdyne Systems T-800, model 101. His character, now showing signs of aging, adds new dimensions to the AI personality, making Schwarzenegger’s return at 72 years old (think of the less convincing cheesy facelifts in The Expendables) surprisingly effective.

However, it’s Linda Hamilton, returning as the tough-as-nails Sarah Connor, who truly shines. Her on-screen reunion with Schwarzenegger is a nostalgic treat.

Check out the film trailer to see what I mean:

About twelve minutes into the movie, there’s a high-octane fight scene set in a stamping factory in Mexico. Interestingly, the scene was actually filmed in a Mercedes factory in Hungary. However, our AutoForm-Mexico team confirms that the portrayal accurately captures the tidy look and feel typical of Mexican assembly plants, reminiscent of the Gestamp and Ford facilities.

Take a look at some of the panels and assembly stations featured in the film:


Fig. 1: Polishing operation before the upper and lower hood parts in assembly. In the background, two workers are using tools to prepare the mating surface for assembly.
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox/Paramount Pictures.

Fig. 2: Mackenzie Davis, portraying Grace, uses a door inner as an improvised weapon during a fight scene. But please, don’t try this at home!
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox/Paramount Pictures.

Fig. 3: During assembly, the car body undergoes spot wielding on a structural part.
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox/Paramount Pictures.

Regarding the vehicle type, after examining models produced in Hungary and observing the BiW’s side view in the film, we believe it is likely a Mercedes CLA model.

An interesting point of fan speculation revolves around the Mexican factory named “Arius Motors” in the movie. Its prominent display on the building and within the factory has led many fans to theorize that Arius Motors might be the early incarnation of Cyberdyne Technologies and Skynet – the entities responsible for creating the AI that wages war against humanity. This theory is bolstered by subtle hints in the film, such as a scene where a factory worker laments being replaced by a robot. His boss’s response, “It’s the future,” seems to foreshadow the impending AI-dominated world.

Terminator: Dark Fate has, in many ways, rejuvenated a franchise that had seen its share of struggles. The film offers a thrilling sci-fi experience, blending high-octane action with a touch of nostalgia, making it a refreshing and enjoyable watch.

Remember, there’s no fate but what we make!