Germany’s Handelsblatt reports that BMW and partner SGL will invest more than €100 million ($137 million) to double their joint production of carbon fiber to 6,000 metric tons a year from 3,000 tons a year now. In addition to meeting demand from the i3 and i8, the carbon fiber will also be used in new 7 series in 2015, according to the report.
In 2009, SGL Group and BMW Group formed a 51:49 joint venture to manufacture carbon fibers and fabrics for the automotive industry. The joint venture is operated through two companies, one based in North America (SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC), and the other in Germany (SGL Automotive Fibers GmbH & Co KG). (Earlier post.)
In 2011, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers officially opened its new carbon fiber manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, WA. (Earlier post.) The plant is initially running two carbon fiber lines, each with an annual capacity of 1,500 metric tons.
The Moses Lake carbon fibers are then processed into lightweight carbon fiber fabrics at the second joint venture site in Wackersdorf, Germany. The carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts and components are produced from these fabrics at the BMW plant in Landshut, Germany.