Magna International is the world’s largest contract manufacturer of automobiles, with clients ranging from BMW to Jaguar.
Now it’s moving into China, the world’s biggest car market, and forming partnerships to build electric vehicles.
“Magna [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,” the company said in statement on Monday. BJEV is a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, which is focused on electric vehicles.
Joint ventures are currently required by China for foreign companies to build vehicles in the country. They’re being phased out for electric-car companies amid a government push for widespread electrification. But for now, the economies of a JV appear to be appealing to Magna.
It helps that a factory will be part of the bargain.
“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,” Magna said in a statement.
This facility has a production capacity of 180,000 vehicles annually, Magna added. The plant will also be set up to provide Magna’s expertise and capabilities to other companies in China.
Magna and BAIC already have a deal in place to develop an all-electric vehicle for the Chinese market.
“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,” BAIC Chairman Xu Heyi said.