BMW 5-Series Plug-in Hybrids To Be Built by Magna

North America’s largest auto supplier Magna International will be producing the BMW 5-series plug-in hybrid at its Graz, Austria plant.

The Magna Steyr plant will start with the BMW 530e this summer, which is the first in the 5-Series plug-in hybrids.

Magna is in a unique position as an automotive supplier, the first to perform contract manufacturing for carmakers at mass scale. While several automakers work with specialty, high-end performance car partners, Magna will be able to produce about 200,000 cars a year at the Austrian plant.

The auto supplier, which is based in Canada, is preparing to produce Jaguar’s I-Pace electric SUV at the Graz plant starting early next year.

Magna Steyr started production of the refreshed BMW 5-Series in March. According to Automotive News it’s not clear whether that included the launch of the 530e i-Perfomance at the Magna plant, or whether BMW has been manufacturing that new model at one of its plants in Germany. It does appear that all of that all of the BMW 530e production will be taking place at Magna’s Austrian plant.

Austria may be well positioned geographically to build plug-in electrified vehicles in coming years. German automakers BMW, Volkswagen, and Daimler have set ambitious targets for electrified vehicle production and sales through 2025. The arrangement in all stands to save BMW money and space on its own production lines open to meeting growing demand for all types of vehicles.

Swamy Kotagiri, Magna’s chief technology officer, said that by 2025, 40 to 50 percent of all vehicles produced will include some electrified vehicle elements.

“We are setting up knowing the penetration will be higher,” he said.

SEE ALSO:  BMW Announces $51,400 Price Tag For 530e iPerformance Sedan

BMW already works with Magna at the Austrian plant, where non-electric Mini Countryman are build. Mercedes-Benz uses the plant for its G-Wagen SUV.

Demand from automakers has been strong enough for Magna to build a paint shop in Slovenia, which is still in the works.

In March, the Slovenian government issued a statement that Magna will potentially invest up to 1.24 billion euro ($1.4 billion) in the country. That could include a car plant with the potential to produce up to 100,000 to 200,000 vehicles per year; but Magna declined to comment.

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