MUNICH, GERMANY (Nov. 21, 2:10 p.m. ET) — BMW AG said Nov. 18 that has bought a 15.16-percent stake in carbon-fiber maker SGL Carbon SE.
The move strengthens the luxury car maker's focus on lightweight construction and use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRP) in automobile manufacture, according to BMW.
BMW and SGL already operate a successful joint venture making carbon fiber in the United States.
“Lightweight construction will play an increasingly important role in the automobile industry in the future. Our stake-holding in the SGL Group is a logical step that will further strengthen our successful cooperation,” said Friedrich Eichiner, BMW board member responsible for finance, speaking in Munich.
The German car maker said it is not disclosing any financial details of the transaction, and added that currently it has no plans to seek a seat on SGL Carbon's supervisory board.
BMW and SGL's joint venture SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers (51 percent owned by SGL and 49 percent by BMW) said it has a state-of-the-art carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake, Wash. The plant plays an important part in the two companies' strategy to automate the production of ultra-light carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) for use in future vehicle concepts.
The carbon fiber produced in Moses Lake is being processed at BMW facilities in Wackersdorf and Landshut. Wackersdorf produces textile fabrics made from carbon fibers, which are then being processed at the BMW plant in Landshut to make lightweight CFRP body components for the BMW i3 and BMW i8.