Munich.BMW AG has secured a 15.16 percent stake in SGL Carbon SE. The company is thereby strengthening its focus on lightweight construction and the use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) in automobile manufacture. The BMW Group and the SGL Group are already collaborating successfully in the framework of a joint venture.
“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,” stated Friedrich Eichiner, member of the Board of Management, responsible for Finance, in Munich on Friday.
The company is not disclosing the financial details of the transaction. From today’s perspective, the BMW AG will not seek a seat on the Supervisory Board of SGL Carbon SE.
The BMW Group and the SGL Group already operate a joint venture. The SGL Group holds 51% and the BMW Group 49 % of shares in the joint company, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers. The two partners have built a new state-of-the-art carbon fibre manufacturing plant together in Moses Lake in Washington State in the U.S. The new plant plays an important part in the two companies’ strategy to automate the production of ultra-light carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRPs) for use in future vehicle concepts.
The carbon fibres produced in Moses Lake are being processed at facilities in Wackersdorf and Landshut. Wackersdorf delivers textile fabrics made from carbon fibres, which are then being processed at the BMW plant in Landshut to make lightweight CFRP body components for the BMW i3 and BMW i8. Both vehicles will be assembled at the BMW plant in Leipzig. The BMW i3, the BMW Group’s first series-produced electric vehicle, will be released on the market in 2013, followed by the BMW i8 sports car shortly afterwards.