FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- 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 German weekly business magazine 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 full-electric hatchback and i8 plug-in hybrid supercar.
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 the end of September.
The use in cars of SGL's carbon fiber 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.