24th February 2014
According to news agency Reuters, BMW and carbon specialist SGL Carbon are planning to double their joint production of carbon-fiber to 6,000 tonnes a year from 3,000 tonnes.
German business daily Handelsblatt, which had reported the news earlier, said the companies were investing more than 100 million euros to expand production in Germany and the United States to respond to growing demand expected for BMW’s electric i3 and i8 cars.
The paper also said that BMW is planning to use carbon-fiber for its planned new 7 series, expected for the end of next year.
A spokesman for SGL Carbon said only that the companies were preparing for stronger demand and expanded production as a result. A BMW spokesman said the firm may choose to expand the use of carbon-fiber in cars beyond the i3 and i8 models in future, adding that a new production site had been built to that effect.
BMW has said in the past that it had attracted more than 11,000 orders for the all-electric 3 hatchback since it entered German showrooms in November, while its i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, due in mid-2014, was sold out for its first year of availability.