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Magna to build cars for Jaguar Land Rover

Move enables the British automaker to expand its global production capacity.

Published: July 3, 2015, 4:00 AM
Updated: July 6, 2015, 1:56 AM

Range Rover Evoque production in China

Magna Steyr has a rich history of building other people’s vehicles and the company is broadening its scope within the auto industry by signing a manufacturing agreement with Jaguar Land Rover.

Out of its main manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria, the company currently builds the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Class full-sized SUV and the compact Mini Countryman and Paceman for Mercedes’ rival BMW, as well as Peugeot RCZ coupe.

Although no vehicle plans were announced, the move will result in expanded vehicle production for Jaguar Land Rover, which finds its current manufacturing operations in the UK close to operating at capacity building 10 new models (including the Jaguar XE, Jaguar F-TYPE, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport).

“The UK remains at the center of our design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Partnerships such as this will complement our UK operations and engineering,” said Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive Officer. “Today marks another step towards building our global footprint. This agreement will allow us to expand our award-winning model range as customers around the world demand ever-more innovative vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover.”

Jaguar Land Rover has more than doubled its worldwide sales in the past five years and invested more than £10 billion (roughly $19.6 Canadian) in new product creation and capital expenditure. Its workforce has also more than doubled in the past half-decade. In that same span, its facilities at Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull have been the primary benefactors of the investments.

The company has also invested in the past couple years in plants to build cars in China and Brazil, primarily for their immediate regions, with China up and running and Brazil coming online soon.

“The signing of this contract with Jaguar Land Rover reflects the trust in our capability and heritage as a vehicle contract manufacturer,” said Günther Apfalter, President Magna Steyr and Magna International Europe. “The partnership with Jaguar Land Rover brings a new customer to our Graz plant. As always, we will work with our fullest commitment and dedication to ensure that we meet our customers’ high expectations.”

Magna Steyr was formed in 2001 after Canadian Frank Stronach acquired a majority share in Steyr-Daimler-Puch in 1998. The company had been in existence in various forms since before the birth of the automobile, and actually did make its own vehicles under the Steyr marque after the First World War and until 1959. Steyr-Daimler-Puch came into existence in the mid-1920s and carried on until the breakup of the various units when it was acquired by Magna.

It also develops and builds components for various manufacturers, counting the Mercedes 4Matic four wheel drive system among its most notable achievements.

Over the years Magna-Steyr has also built models for other manufacturers, including the Aston Martin Rapide, Audi V8, BMW X3, Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mercedes SLS AMG and Saab 9-3 Convertible, among others, and developed its own brand MILA, which has launched several concept vehicles.