BMW investing $200 million to triple U.S. carbon fiber production
BMW has announced it will expand involvement with partner SGL Group by making a $200 million investment that would triple the annual capacity of its existing carbon fiber production facility in Moses Lake, Washington. The new funding in this strategic expansion will boost the size of the workforce at the SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers facility from 80 to 200 and make Moses Lake the largest carbon fiber plant in the world when the project is completed in early 2015. Due to the extensive automated production processes in place at Moses Lake, BMW will be able to leverage this new potential to expand use of this lightweight composite material throughout its entire model range in what it says will be large quantities and do so at very competitive prices.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Dr. Klaus Draeger, Board Member Purchasing and Supplier Network at BMW AG noted: "CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) is a key material for the automotive industry of the 21st century. In our endeavor to identify increasingly lightweight materials in order to reduce a vehicle's weight and thus its fuel consumption and carbon emissions, this material plays a crucial role. As part of an intelligent mix of materials, we will apply carbon also beyond our BMW i and BMW M models in the future."
"With its highly automated carbon fiber production and stringent quality standards, Moses Lake is setting new standards in the industry, said Dr. Jürgen Köhler, CEO of SGL Group. "At present, the site is the world's fastest growing carbon fiber producer. Together with the BMW Group, we are doing pioneering work to establish CFRP as a material in large-series automotive production. In a mix of materials, CFRP offers new opportunities in lightweight construction for an eco-friendly mobility,"
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