Magna is en route to make it big in China as the supplier is preparing the launch of two joint ventures with BAIC. Together they want to develop new energy vehicles and Magna stands ready to take over an existing BAIC facility that builds 180,000 EVs a year.
Automotive supplier Magna International with head quarters in Canada counts clients of the likes of BMW or Jaguar Land Rover to their portfolio and now the Canadians want to expand to China to build electric cars there.
Their chosen partner is BAIC and they plan no less than two joint ventures to jointly engineer and build premium electric vehicles for the domestic market.
For Magna, it is the first time they are expanding their operations beyond their manufacturing traditionally set in the Austrian town of Graz. Says Don Walker, CEO of Magna International: “These joint venture operations mark an historic milestone for Magna. For the first time we will be providing our customers with cars engineered and built outside our complete vehicle manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.”
The contract has already been signed with BAIC subsidiary BJEV in Nanjing. Over the coming months, Magna and BJEV will work with authorities to implement legally binding joint-venture agreements.
The engineering and manufacturing joint ventures are expected to take over an existing BAIC manufacturing facility in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province. The first production NEVs are scheduled to roll off the lines in 2020. The plant has the capacity to build up to 180,000 electric vehicles per year.
Plans of the cooperation had made headlines already in April, when BAIC and Magna announced they will jointly develop a next-gen electric vehicle architecture for the Chinese market. It is expected that this vehicle architecture will be transferred to the engineering joint venture and will form the platform of the new electric vehicles to be launched in the joint venture.