SGL says in talks with many carmakers to supply carbon fiber parts

By Reuters

Nov 23, 2014 06:28 AM EST

SGL Group, the materials supplier for carbon fiber reinforced parts in BMW's electric cars, is in talks with several other carmakers to supply carbon fiber for a wider range of automotive components, its chief executive said.

"SGL is in talks with many manufacturers," CEO Juergen Koehler told weekly Wirtschaftswoche on Saturday, citing the need for lighter and more fuel efficient vehicles.

"VW, in particular through Audi and Lamborghini, is also banking on high-volume use of carbon components. General Motors has also hinted recently that they want to use more carbon. Porsche is also very active," he was quoted as saying.

He added the mooted new supply contracts were not as big as the BMW venture. SGL set up a joint venture with BMW to make carbon fibers for the carmaker's i3 hatchback and i8 sports car.

Uncertainty remains over the success of BMW "i" range of electric cars, which cost BMW billions to develop. It had sold only 10,199 i3s by end-September.

The use in cars of SGL's carbon fibers has yet to establish itself as a sizable business. Automotive and transport industries accounted for just 2 percent of last year's group sales at SGL, its annual report shows.

SGL's main business is making graphite electrodes for electric arc furnaces that recycle scrap metal into steel.

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