SGL Group buys BMW stake in Moses Lake Carbon fiber plant

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MOSES LAKE — SGL Carbon, which produces carbon fiber car components here in Moses Lake, has bought out BMW’s 49 percent stake in SGL Automotive.

This means that SGL Automotive, begun as a joint venture between the two German firms, is now wholly owned by Munich, Germany-based SGL Carbon.

“We are proud of the pioneering work that we have carried out with BMW Group on lightweight construction for the automotive sector,” said Jürgen Köhler, chief executive of the SGL Group group, in a press statement.

“The carbon fibers made at our plant in Moses Lake and the fabrics that are produced from them at the Wackersdorf site have proven very successful.” Köhler added. “It is now time to fully integrate this expertise into SGL Group’s value chain.”

According to Andres Pütz, the change in ownership structure “doesn’t have any impact” on the Moses Lake community or the roughly 450 employees at SGL Automotive.

The change, however, is part of SGL’s drive to consolidate all of its production activities — “from carbon fibers and materials to components” — into one “value chain.” The company will continue to supply BMW with carbon fiber panels for components.

BMW Group will continue to rely on lightweight construction and an intelligent mix of materials, with carbon remaining a significant component,” Markus Duesmann, a senior BMW executive responsible for purchasing, said in a statement. “SGL Group is and will remain a major supplier and strategic partner in this regard.”

SGL Group describes the Moses Lake facility as “the world’s most modern and environmentally friendly carbon fiber plant.” The facility creates carbon fibers that are then woven into panels at its facility in Wackersdorf, Bavaria, which BMW uses to create components for its i3, i8 and 7 series automobiles.

According to SGL, the Moses Lake facility generated revenue of around $107 million (90 million euros) in 2016.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at countygvt@columbiabasinherald.com.

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