From Autoline Daily
When the big boys get involved, we will see the prices drop as volume climbs.
Good news for us boaters.
CARBON FIBER SUPPLY CHAIN
Automakers are making important improvements to slash the cost of using carbon fiber in their cars. They are especially focused on developing cycle times that are well under 5 minutes, a key enabler for mass production.
And everyone is getting in on the game. Toyota, Daimler, Subaru and Nissan have agreements with the Japanese company Toray, the largest carbon fiber supplier in the world. Ford is teaming up with U.S.-based Dow, while General Motors recently signed an agreement with Teijin, another Japanese company. BMW formed a joint venture with the German supplier SGL. Indeed, BMW claims it will be the first major automaker to sell an all-carbon car, its electric i3.
This segment is so strategic that VW rushed in last year to buy 8.2 percent of SGL, which prompted BMW to buy another 15 percent of SGL simply to prevent VW from gaining any more control. Susanne Klatten, a member of the Quandt family and the heiress to the BMW empire, owns 29 percent of SGL. VW may want to find another source quickly. New suppliers from China and South Korea are emerging, but there are few other large-scale suppliers out there.
And no one wants to be left out. After 2015, carbon fiber applications in the automotive industry are projected to grow 10-15 percent a year. It’s almost like the computer industry was 40 years ago.
There are still many issues left to be resolved, especially repairing carbon fiber cars at dealerships and body shops. But mass-production carbon fiber could become be one of the greatest growth segments in the automotive industry in the second half of this decade.
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Sailing, racing sailboats,and working on sailboats.