Magna International plans to cooperate with the Chinese BAIC Group13. September 2018
Magna International recently announced the founding of two new joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd (BJEV) for the development and production of electric vehicles. BJEV is a subsidiary of the state-owned BAIC group, which specializes in electric vehicles. Electric vehicles in China require CCC certification before their market launch. So far, Magna is a supplier of automotive components as well as in the contract manufacturing of certain models of renowned car manufacturers. Customers include Tesla Motors, Volkswagen, BMW and Toyota. The European offshoot Magna Steyr produced, among others, the sports coupe Peugeot RCZ (until 2015), the mini Countryman (until 2016) and currently the full-electric SUV Jaguar I-Pace / E-Pace, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and partial the BMW 5 Series.
Even though the Chinese government recently relaxed the rules for forming joint ventures for foreign investors, including in the field of electromobility, a partnership with BJEV seems more appropriate for Magna. It is planned to take over a factory and development center from BAIC in Zhenjian, Jiangsu Province. With this acquisition they would be ready to produce the first vehicles by 2020, Magna said in a statement. The factory has a capacity of 180,000 vehicles per year and is intended to serve as the headquarters of the group in China. Magna and BAIC have already signed a contract for the development of a fully electric vehicle for the Chinese market.
According to unconfirmed sources, a number of customers are already committed to the Magna-BAIC joint venture. One customer is to be the Chinese car-hailing and car-sharing company Didi, among others. The market leader plans to build its own fleet of specialized vehicles geared towards short-haul passenger comfort. A concept car, which will be launched in 2020, has already been introduced as the Didi D1. Didi did not want to reveal any details about a collaboration, but BAIC is a valued partner. Another company, Singulato, already has a partnership with BAIC. The technology group Singulato, supported by domestic investors and the Intel Corporation, is looking for a partner for the production of its first vehicle, the SUV iS6. The market launch was actually scheduled for the end of 2018, but the regulatory bodies have not yet granted the company a license to produce vehicles. Therefore, a production in the factory of Magna-BAIC would be very convenient. Components and vehicles in China must undergo CCC certification and bear the CCC logo.
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