Magna International Inc. based in Aurora, Canada, has announced its intention to form two new joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd (BJEV) for complete vehicle manufacturing, as well as engineering of electric vehicles (EVs). The two companies held a signing ceremony in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China.
Magna is a global automotive supplier and the world’s leading brand-independent vehicle contract manufacturer. BJEV is a subsidiary of the BAIC Group for electric cars in Beijing, China.
The engineering and manufacturing joint ventures are expected to take over an existing BAIC manufacturing facility in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, where the first production vehicles are planned for 2020. The plant has the capacity to build up to 180,000 vehicles per year.
“For the first time we will be providing our customers with cars engineered and built outside our complete vehicle manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria,” says Don Walker, CEO of Magna International Inc. “It’s a unique capability for Magna, especially with our ability to produce vehicles with conventional, hybrid and electric powertrains, and we are excited to bring it to a market like China where there is a tremendous opportunity.”
“From a strategic point of view, the establishment of the JVs will benefit both Magna and BAIC to further strengthen our business growth in China,” says Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC Group. “Based on an open and sharing platform, we will jointly develop and manufacture premium smart electric vehicles, bringing the clean energy vehicle industry to the next level.”
In April 2018, BAIC Group and Magna announced they will jointly develop a next-generation smart EV 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 EVs to be launched in the joint venture.
China is currently the world’s leading market for electric mobility. China’s central government has set a target of producing 5 million new-energy vehicles per year in China by 2020, which will include electric and gas-electric hybrid vehicles. To support this goal, it plans to launch a quota system and promote vehicles that are not fueled by gasoline or diesel. Announced in September 2017, all domestic and foreign automakers in the country must start building electric or hybrid vehicles by 2019.
To meet this rising demand, BJEV has announced plans to build additional new factories in Changzhou, Qiangdao and Kunming. It reportedly delivered 103,200 pure EVs in 2017, outselling Tesla and Nissan but running neck and neck with Warren Buffet-backed BYD (stands for Build Your Dreams, Shenzhen, China), which claims 113,700 in EV sales for 2017.
BAIC has also announced in November 2017 cooperation with Changzhou Kangde Composites Co., Ltd. to launch New Energy Vehicles Carbon Fiber Body and Components to be built in Changzhou National Hi-tech Zone, Jiangsu Province. The first phase of the project is slated for operation in June 2019, with BAIC and Kangde Group claiming it will be the world’s largest and most technologically advanced manufacturing base for industrial 4.0 intelligent new energy carbon fiber automotive parts.