McLaren was the first manufacturer to bring out a full carbon fibre monocoque chassis production car, the F1 in 1998. It, also used gold foil as heat reflector, titanium, kevlar and magnesium and unique McLaren F1 technology to a road car. It was a radical idea then. But success after success the McLaren F1 proved the sceptics wrong, by its performance/safety and became the fastest production car in 1998 (390 km/hr) and still remains the fastest naturally aspirated production car in the world. I think a true turning point in automotive history.
Mercedes and BMW even after collaborating with McLaren in the past (mostly to produce its engine) did not fully pick up on the idea. BMW convinced itlself that experimentation in carbon fiber would never be cost effective to be profitable. I think BMW even made a public statement to that effect. There was a carbon fibre Mercedes Mclaren SLR though. BMW stuck to traditional manufacturing processes and played it safe.