Perhaps anyone that comes to Germany who has a decent knowledge of the automobile industry knows that several worldwide car brands are originated from here. Such as Mercedes, Mini, Audi, VW, and of course, BMW. On our schedule, today is a site visit of SGL Group, a company that makes and invests in the future of carbonated products; and a tour of the BMW museum and factory in Munich.
SGL is located in Meitingen, about just forty minutes away from Augsburg. I walked into the building with only some basic knowledge of what carbonated products are. Since I used to cycle, I knew that it was the universal truth that carbonated bike bodies are light, preferred, and expensive. The short presentation by SGL employees allowed me to understand the company history and structure, including how the carbon industry is strictly related to the steel industry, and SGL almost went under during the steel crisis a couple decades ago. After the presentation, we were taken to the factory and a showcase room where the workers there explained some of the products SGL has produced that are being used in everyday life now. Such as a door for a Porche model made out of carbons, and some internal automobile parts supplied to BMW and Audi. They also showed us a baseball bat and bicycle that’s made out of their carbon material. Including the Proche door, when we lifted them up they were all so light. In the factory, they showed us the process of making carbon fibers. It was a long process that involves lots of technology and manual procedures. The carbon fiber itself? Smoother than hair and with an awesome carbon color (don’t really know how to describe the color).
The SGL site visit finished around 1 and we took off to the BMW headquarters in Munich. BMW World, BMW Museum, and the four cylinder-shaped 30+ building all together was a magnificent view. For people like myself who are car fans, coming here more than a dream, definitely a check for life lifetime travel checklists. We first spent two hours wondering around the BMW museum checking out the history products of BMW, as well as the present and future models. On the top floor, they had a vision of future connected vehicles and autonomous driving vehicles. Later we walked around BMW World, which is basically a big open space BMW store, where people can purchase BMW vehicles on the spot. Later that afternoon we had a chance to tour the BMW factory across the street. Although they are only making four BMW models here, it was really cool to be able to see the process of assembling small parts to finish coating the paint.
It was a really long and tiring day, but very worthwhile. Especially touring the BMW factory and having a chance to see the process of making a car.