The BMW Group (Munich, Germany) announced on Feb. 22 that it is developing BMW Plant Leipzig to produce an electric vehicle and making additional investments in a number of facilities in Bavaria. In a joint venture with SGL Carbon (Weisbaden, Germany), SGL Automotive Fibers GmbH & Co KG, carbon fiber fabrics will be produced in Wackersdorf, Germany, and converted into carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) components for the new vehicle at BMW Plant Landshut.
BMW and SGL announced in 2009 a joint venture to produce a carbon fiber all-electric vehicle. Carbon fiber for the vehicle will be produced in the U.S. at a location not yet selected, although the company is said to be considering a site in Washington state (see link at right).
Norbert Reithofer, chairman of BMW AG, confirmed the company’s commitment to Germany as an industrial center: “The BMW Group will build the car of the future in Leipzig with high-tech innovations from Bavaria. The main reasons behind this decision are the qualities that Germany has to offer: we have a tried and tested production network here and high levels of education and outstanding competencies at our disposal.”
With this decision to produce in Leizpig, Landhsut and Wackersdorf, the BMW Group is preparing for series production of a car known by its project name of Megacity Vehicle. With this new automobile, the BMW Group aims to provide an innovative solution for sustainable mobility in urban environments. It is being developed as part of project i and is due to reach the market in the first half of this decade under a sub-brand of BMW.