BMW is investing heavily into carbon fiber as it continues to outfit its model range with the lightweight material.
The German automaker will be investing $200 million in its joint venture with SGL Group to triple the capacity of its carbon fiber products plant. As a result of the investment, the factory will become the world’s largest manufacturer of carbon fiber with an annual output of 9,000 tons by 2015.
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Carbon fiber reinforced plastics are currently used in production of BMW’s i electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, such as the i3 and i8. With the expansion of the plant, BMW will also be able to use carbon fiber for other models at “competitive costs and in large quantities.” Various bits of carbon fiber can also be found on the 2015 BMW M3 and M4, such as the roof.
BMW owns 49 percent of SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers and the partners have spent $100 million on the plant which houses 80 employees. The expansion will create an additional 120 jobs.
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