Magna International: Building its own EVs in China
Magna International, the Canadian auto parts manufacturer and supplier announced that it has struck a partnership with Beijing Electric Vehicle Company to produce electric vehicles in China. A report from Reuters suggests that a plant in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, owned by the parent of Beijing Electric Vehicle is expected to serve the joint venture.
It is a double milestone for Magna: for the first time in its history, Magna will be building a vehicle outside of their manufacturing plant in Austria and they will also be directly involved in designing the vehicle, instead of merely building it. The move is seen as a strategic choice to capture a part of China's booming electric vehicle market; according to Forbes, China is expected to see more than 1 million electric vehicles sold locally in 2018, after year-over-year growth of EV sales reached 53% in 2017. EVs are seen as a potential solution to China's serious polluted environment.
Interestingly, although relatively unknown among the consumer circles, Magna International is the company behind the building of many well known vehicles, such as Jaguar's latest I-Pace. Magna, having recently won a contract from BMW, is expected to produce the Bavarian company's latest iteration of the iconic roadster Z4 at the Magna manufacturing plant in Graz, Austria. Magna also provides electric drivetrains for Ford's electric Focus.