BMW AG is increasing its global sourcing as it plans for the development and launch of its Megacity Vehicle project.
Last week, BMW and the SGL Group announced they will build a $100 million carbon fiber manufacturing plant in Washington to supply parts for a new BMW electric vehicle.
The factory will begin production in the third quarter of 2011 and make ultralightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastics exclusively for BMW's first vehicle under a new sub brand. BMW did not disclose the name or details about the vehicle other than to say it will be electric-powered and arrive before 2015.
The new car will bring together global production sources beyond the new Washington site, with SGL and its Japanese joint-venture partner, Mitsubishi Rayon, creating part of the carbon fiber formula in Otake, Japan, as well as using BMW production in Landshut and Wackersdorf, Germany.
The Moses Lake, Wash., plant will employ 80 people.
The technology is similar to fiberglass in that it combines a reinforcing material--in this case, carbon fiber--with plastic as a binding agent to create a product with a specific molded shape.
(Source: Automotive News)