BMW is setting and also following the latest trends. It’s using carbon fiber, it’s producing electric cars, and the cars will be autonomous or “driverless” vehicles. In a recent interview, Klaus Froehlich, BMW’s head of development said that his department’s “i Next” project is focusing on a revamp of the i3 and i8 sedans. Both of these models are already considered to be trend-setters in the use of composites for auto manufacturing.
Using carbon fiber means using adhesives instead of mechanical fasteners, but BMW already has its supply-chain in place and is in a firm market leadership position when it comes to using carbon fiber and adhesives in auto assembly. It’s also ahead of the curve in terms of driverless car development and is currently striving to catch up with Tesla in the manufacture of electric cars. But the automotive industry will not leave BMW unchallenged in its race for the ultimate modern car. A Chinese company, Qiantu Motor, is also using carbon fiber and adhesives to produce an electric car that will be over 30% cheaper than the BMW i8.