According to German newspaper Handelsblatt, which cited sources inside the company, premium automaker BMW and carbon specialist SGL Carbon plan to double their joint-production of carbon-fiber to 6, 000 tones a year.
After the German business daily’s report, the story has been also confirmed to Reuters by a person familiar with the situation – production in Germany and the US is planned for an expansion supported through a more than 100 million euros investment, as BMW expects a strong demand for its i3 electric and i8 hybrid sports car.
As BMW already said in the past its i3 small car has already attracted more than 11,000 orders since it was up for sale in German showrooms, while the i8, due in mid-2014, is already sold out through its first year.
Company representatives for both SGL Carbon and BMW did not confirm the planned production increase, but said they are prepared for the growing demand scenario and respective production increase. BMW also partially confirmed Handelsblatt report that it prepares to use carbon fiber beyond the i3 and i8 models – the German newspaper citing the new 7 Series as the next candidate for the material.