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Contract Manufacturing in China: Our Vision

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by Zhenyu Huang Vice President, Magna Steyr China & General Manager, Tech JV with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co.
June 15, 2020

When the first ARCFOX α-T rolls off the assembly line at Magna’s Zhenjiang joint venture contract manufacturing facility in late July, it will be a top-of-the-line Volcano Red model equipped with a Harman Kardon sound system, 5G capability, and a four-screen infotainment system. It’s already spoken for, too.

The new electric SUV is earmarked for a Chinese celebrity, one of about 2,000 customers who have pre-ordered the vehicle online. Not only is the $40,000 α-T a desirable new offering in China, the world’s largest electric vehicle market, it also marks a significant milestone for Magna.

For the first time, Magna’s complete vehicle manufacturing expands beyond Europe, where we have built vehicles for Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and others at our Graz, Austria, facility. In China, we have a new partnership with BAIC Group and will build ARCFOX brand vehicles for the company’s electric unit BJEV. The facility in Zhenjiang can serve other potential customers as well with its 180,000 annual capacity.

Bringing our world-class manufacturing to China benefits new electric vehicle companies, as well as traditional automakers. With contract manufacturing in Magna’s hands, newcomers can concentrate on the product marketing and branding, while we concentrate on bringing their ideas from paper to the real world.

Consumers want diversified products, and companies must react quickly to satisfy customer demand. As a contract manufacturer, we design assembly lines in a flexible way, enabling us to be experts at producing both with mass-volume and niche models. Traditional automakers might not have the time nor investment to modify their giant plants. That makes Magna the perfect solution. We can realize their initiatives and react to the market in a relatively short time.

Quality is the most important thing to our contract manufacturing team in China. The mindset is no different from the dedication to excellence that began in Graz, and has been cultivated at our new location.

Both our engineering team and our production team are international. Some of our engineers are Graz veterans; 50 of our specialists were trained in Graz. So was our management team. Everyone here is motivated, committed to sustainability, and doing their part to create eco-friendly products.

As we aim for the start of ARCFOX production at the end of July and the moment that Volcano Red model rolls off the line, our immediate goal is to play a significant role in the Chinese BEV mega-trend. But our vision goes beyond that. We aim to be a leading partner in China for zero-emission mobility.

Photo of Zhenyu Huang

Zhenyu Huang

Magna is the leading brand-independent engineering and manufacturing partner for established automakers and new entrants. Over the years, 29 different models have rolled off our production lines, adding up to more than 3.7 million vehicles. We have expertise across the entire vehicle-development process, and comprehensive know-how in the fields of electrification and electromobility.

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