BMW Plant Breaks Ground in Moses Lake

Three months after German carmaker BMW and its partner, SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers announced they have selected Moses Lake, Washington, as the site for the future joint operation, work on the facility began yesterday, with the ground breaking ceremony held in front of the Governor of the State of Washington Chris Gregoire.

The facility will be used to manufacture ultra light weight carbon fiber reinforced plastics to be used by the German carmaker in the long awaited Megacity vehicle, as well as in other vehicle concepts. The two partners will invest $100 million in the 60 acres plant, which at first will produce 1,500 metric tons of carbon fiber. The plant will employ 80 people once it's complete, with 200 workers to help build it.

“This carbon fiber plant, the most cost efficient of its kind worldwide, is a benchmark in the industry. The investment in Moses Lake underlines our strong commitment to the State of Washington and to the United States,” Andreas Wuellner, SGL managing director said in a statement.

“We are on the verge of a major renaissance and paradigm shift for the automotive industry. Now, a key piece of the Megacity Vehicle has a base in the USA!”

The joint venture between BMW and SGL, established last year, will conduct its business through two companies, one based in the US and one in Germany. SGL owns 51 percent of the new business, while the German carmaker has 49 percent.

The Megacity will be built around a carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, with its body panels using composite materials or carbon fiber, in an effort to keep the weight down. The vehicle will be launched in 2013.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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