Quality Magazine

BMW Reportedly Wants Stake in Carbon-Fiber Specialist

October 19, 2011

(Courtesy of Edmunds AutoObserver )--The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported this week that Germany’s BMW Group may want to invest in Germany-based carbon-fiber developer SGL Carbon, the company’s partner in a U.S. manufacturing operation to make body panels for an all-new BMW city car. BMW and SGL will make carbon-fiber body panels for the so-called Megacity vehicle, which will have an electric only variant when it goes on sale sometime around 2013.

Details of the Megacity vehicle remain sketchy, but there may be several alternatively-powered variants, including an all-electric model. The $100-million BMW-SGL manufacturing site in Moses Lake, WA, will not produce the carbon-fiber body panels – the facility will create the carbon fibers used in the panels from raw materials called acrylic polymer. The U.S. plant will take the acrylic materials and process them into carbon fibers that will be shipped to Germany for processing into fabric sheets for the car’s body panels. Germany’s Volkswagen Group currently holds an 8% investment in SGL, according to the German newspaper.