• Mar 23rd 2010 at 9:27AM
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A report from Washington State television station KXLY claims that BMW is looking to build another manufacturing facility in North America, but it doesn't appear to be a vehicle assembly plant. The TV station claims BMW and partner SGL Group will announce plans to build a carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake, WA within the next few days or weeks. The site would reportedly bring 200 jobs and $200 million to the region; very good news in an economic downturn. BMW officials had reportedly touched down in Washington to look for appropriate land for the top-secret project, which is rumored to be called "Project Chinook" by Moses Lake officials.

The rumored facility would build carbon fiber parts for BMW's upcoming electric vehicles, which are slated to hit the streets by 2015. Last November BMW announced its partnership with SGL, citing the goal of making cost-competitive, large scale carbon fiber components to cut more weight from its vehicles. BMW tells us the first vehicle to utilize extensive carbon fiber isn't an M1 replacement or the heir-apparent to the Z8, but instead the Megacity hybrid-electric vehicle.

By making carbon fiber parts in North America, BMW would likely save quite a bit of money versus building the components in Europe. But is BMW going to build components for an electric city car here in the States only to have parts shipped back to Europe for assembly? We're thinking if our Bavarian friends do announce a carbon fiber facility in Moses Lake, there's a chance the company could decide to build the Megacity here as well.

[Source: Motoringfile]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      They can't even spell carbon fibre correctly in America.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good news. Gets us one step closer to having our sub-3,000 lb 3-Series back sometime soon!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I propose to use aluminum honeycomb to absorb collision energy.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Ah yes, the rare, yet beautiful BMW Carbo Fiber plant. They only grow in the right conditions, and are best fed and watered by large quantities of something called 'loworkforcecost' and soil fertile in a substance called 'taxabreakia'.
        • 5 Years Ago
        such is the world of corporate pandering and blackmail we live in today.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't know why they'd build in WA state, unless they were thinking about possibly getting some business from Boeing. Washington is becoming less business friendly all the time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        787 composite airframes = big side business.

        Also, being close to Boeing's 787 assembly line == cheap used equipment, skilled labor in hi tech carbon fiber manufacturing and streamlined supply chain (since all carbon fiber production can be centralized in one state).

        Also, Moses lake (been there) has one of the largest airport runways on the west coast--that JAL uses to train 747 pilots. It's got potential.

        • 5 Years Ago
        There's a ton of composite companies, composite engineers, and skilled composite laborers in that neck of the woods.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very nice.

      I have predicted for years now, that the company that can perfect the process to mass-produce carbonfiber parts (especially for automotive use) is going to reap HUGE benefits.

      BMW is taking one big step toward that goal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This will knock Audi's socks off as they have been working for awhile now on taking weight out of there vehicles to give downsized motors even more performance. Kudo's to BMW for taking what could be a giant leap forward for the auto industry!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is absolutely awesome!!! (Coming from the perspective of an engineering grad student that will soon be looking for a job in this field)
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