Magna signs composite liftgate JV with Chinese automaker
Aurora, Ont.-based Magna signed the joint venture deal with a subsidiary of state-owned automotive giant Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd.
Automotive parts supplier Magna International Inc. has entered into a joint venture in China to make composite liftgates for a global automaker’s crossover vehicle starting in late 2018.
The JV with GAC Component Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of state-owned automotive giant Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd., will work out of a new 55,900 square-foot facility located in Changsha, China, with an estimated 116 employees at the start.
“We’re seeing tremendous demand for advanced material innovations as manufacturers pursue all opportunities to take weight out of vehicles to meet emissions requirements,” said Magna Exteriors president Grahame Burrow in a statement. “I am very pleased we have formed this JV with GACC as it provides great opportunities for future growth in liftgates and other lightweight exterior products going forward.”
Demand for lightweight, fully recyclable composite liftgates for crossover and sport utility vehicles remains high globally, Magna said. The fully assembled liftgates are 25 per cent lighter than steel. Composite materials allow for greater design and production flexibility, and Magna’s full-system assembly and delivery approach include reduced complexity of the total liftgate module, lower tooling investment and increased throughput at the assembly plant.
With the addition of this JV facility, Aurora, Ont.-based Magna now operates 50 facilities in China, with a total of more than 22,700 employees.