Magna signs its first complete vehicle manufacturing joint venture in China 
Photo courtesy of Magna

Magna signs its first complete vehicle manufacturing joint venture in China 

Canada’s Magna International Inc. and China’s BAIC Group and the Zhenjiang government celebrated the signing of a framework agreement governing their electric vehicle manufacturing joint venture in Zhenjiang, China, marking another milestone of their continued cooperation. The transaction, which is pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

BAIC Group is a Chinese state-owned enterprise and holding company of several automobile and machine manufacturers located in Beijing, China. Its principal subsidiaries include the passenger car maker BAIC Motor; a military vehicle and SUV maker, BAW; and a truck, bus, and agricultural equipment maker, Foton Motor.

Magna International is a mobility technology company, with more than 169,000 employees, 338 manufacturing operations and 89 product development, engineering and sales centres in 28 countries. The company has complete vehicle engineering and contract manufacturing expertise, as well as product capabilities which include body, chassis, exterior, seating, powertrain, active driver assistance, electronics, mirrors & lighting, mechatronics and roof systems. Magna also has electronic and software capabilities across many of these areas.

This Chinese joint venture, which is to be controlled by BJEV, an affiliate of the BAIC Group, represents Magna’s first investment in a complete vehicle manufacturing facility outside Europe. It will combine Magna’s unique complete vehicle engineering and manufacturing expertise and BAIC’s local manufacturing, marketing, and distribution footprint to support electric mobility in China. The facility has the capacity of up to 180,000 vehicles per year.

“We are excited to work with BAIC to further strengthen Magna’s e-mobility capability in the largest global market for new energy vehicles,” said Günther Apfalter, president of Magna Europe and Magna Steyr. 

“BAIC’s long-term strategy, an open and sharing philosophy, and a collaborative and innovative mindset lead us toward top partners like Magna,” General Manager of BAIC Group Zhang Xiyong said during the ceremony to celebrate the signing of the framework agreement on 24 July.

In June 2018, Magna and BJEV announced they would jointly engineer and build premium electric vehicles for customers in China. In January 2019, the two sides celebrated the opening of a new engineering centre and announced the groundbreaking of a new energy vehicle (NEV) test centre in Zhenjiang.

The first production of electric vehicles, BJEV’s ARCFOX models, is expected for launch in late 2020.

The joint venture will also be capable of offering EV contract manufacturing services to other potential customers.