Magna-Steyr eyes U.S. auto plant to keep electric vehicle tax credits


The Sony Vision-S 02 concept, built by Magna-Steyr.

The Sony Vision-S 02 concept, built by Magna-Steyr.
Image: sony

If you want to keep that sweet $7,500 federal tax rebate on your company’s electric vehicles, your EV now must undergo final assembly in the United States. Magna Steyr is a manufacturer; it does not sell cars directly, but builds them under contract for many major automakers. For the company to continue doing business, it appears it will need to establish a manufacturing footprint in the United States — which now appears to be exactly the plan, according to one of Magna Steyr’s senior executives.

Courtesy of Automotive News and its German subsidiary, Automobilwoche:

“We want to enter the American market. We are aggressively looking for a location right now,” Magna Steyr vice president Kurt Bachmaier told Automotive News affiliate Automobilwoche.

Bachmaier did not reveal where Magna Steyr might build its factory, but said the company is considering areas with skilled employees, access to suppliers and plenty of space.

The company will also choose a site based on wind and sunshine, as it aims to produce sustainable electricity.

“We want a climate-friendly factory,” Bachmaier said.

He said California had been ruled out as a potential site.

The Magna Steyr factory in Graz, Austria currently assembles the Toyota GR Supra and BMW Z4, Jaguar I Pace and E-pace, Mercedes G-Class and, finally, the Fisker Ocean. Notably, Sony chose Magna Steyr to build its semi-autonomous electrical device Vision-S prototypes. For a minute the manufacturer was related to Apple’s Project Titan as well.

Automotive News adds that this is not the first time that Magna International – the Canadian parent company of Magna Steyr – has considered a North American factory. The top executive of the Canadian parts giant floated such an idea four years ago; the idea was that such a facility might be needed once the Graz plant was maxed out. Excerpt from the 2018 interview:

Magna CEO Don Walker is keeping his options open on building the company’s first North American vehicle assembly plant, for its subsidiary Magna Steyr.

Steyr has no current plans, says Walker, but he will build a factory here if customers prove him right.

“We get a lot of requests,” Walker said. Automotive News of the idea of ​​building vehicles in North America. “It’s usually a single vehicle or peak volume. But I think if we had a factory here, we would do a lot of business.

Capacity is still a concern, but the company now has an even more pressing reason to launch a production line in the United States. This is an unusual situation for automakers to come together these days.

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