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Old 03-03-2011, 08:10 AM   #1
VW Surprises BMW by Buying Carbon Fiber Business
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BMW AG was surprised by Volkswagen AG's acquisition of an 8.2 percent stake in carbon fiber specialist SGL Carbon, which is BMWs partner. The move indicates a possible conflict between the automakers. At the Geneva Motor Show, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer told reporters that VW did not inform BMW ahead of the purchase. SGL and BMW had planned an EUR230 million investment for a joint venture to make lightweight carbon fiber car
bodies on an industrial scale as part of its drive to launch an ultra-green BMW electric car for cities like Shanghai.

The venture first announced in October 2009 - would produce several thousand tons of carbon fiber a year.

Six months later, Mercedes-Benz formed a joint venture with carbon fiber manufacturer Toray of Japan. Such move emphasized the importance of high-tech and lightweight materials to lower carbon emissions and fuel consumption.

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