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Magna International CEO Don Walker says a manufacturer might cruise N.A. public plant



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Automotive News Europe

August 13, 2018 06:01 CET

Economic growth officials constantly guard a attention for a subsequent automaker wanting a North American public plant. But one tellurian manufacturer competence warn them: Magna International.

Magna CEO Don Walker is gripping his options open on building a company’s initial North American car public plant, for a Magna Steyr subsidiary.

Steyr has no devise in a works, Walker says, though he will build a plant there if business give him cause.

“We get a lot of requests,” Walker told Automotive News Europe sister announcement Automotive News of a thought of building vehicles in North America. “It’s typically a singular vehicle, or a rise volume. But we cruise that if we had a plant here we would be removing a lot of business.”

Magna Steyr, a unconditionally owned auxiliary of a Canadian tools giant, is singular in automaking: a agreement manufacturer that operates one car public plant, in Graz, Austria. Graz builds a BMW 5 series, Jaguar I-Pace, Jaguar E-Pace and Mercedes-Benz G class. In June, a association pronounced it will furnish a redesigned BMW Z4.

The plant is approaching to spin out about 200,000 vehicles this year.

That is where North America emerges as a plant scenario: The Graz site is maxing out on ability as Magna Steyr continues to grow, Walker says. In April, Magna Steyr inked a partnership to rise a next-generation electric car design for Chinese automaker BAIC Motor. Magna also partners with ride-hailing business Lyft on new-generation unconstrained vehicles.

“We are over ability in a subsequent integrate of years as we continue to launch new vehicles,” Walker says. “If we continue to get business over during Magna Steyr, afterwards we would enhance to a second location. It’s a probability that we continue to demeanour at.”

North America is an option, as is China, he says.

“But putting adult a code new plant takes a lot of money,” he says. “We would need a joining of dual to 3 business to build a plant.”

More than a decade ago, Magna discussed producing small-volume vehicles in a U.S. for unclear customers.

Walker says Magna knows of accessible brownfield plant ability in North America — not only a probability of greenfield investment.

“We demeanour during all options,” he says. “If there’s an accessible plant around, we would cruise it.

“The biggest cost motorist for an public plant is a paint shop. Is it capable? Can we cgange it to accommodate specifications?

“And logistics,” he adds, oblivious over site considerations. “You roughly always have to put in a new physique emporium and a new ubiquitous assembly.”

You can strech Lindsay Chappell during lchappell@crain.com.


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