Magna International Inc. deepened its investment into its declared new market for electric vehicle battery enclosures, raising its commitment to nearly $700 million at two plants in Michigan and Ontario to supply major electric truck programs.

Battery enclosures are part of North America’s largest parts supplier’s plan to establish itself as a crucial producer EV parts and technologies.

Last week, Magna announced a round of new spending on its Ontario manufacturing footprint, including a $198 million investment in a new battery enclosures plant in Brampton, near Toronto. That plant will initially build enclosures for the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup before ramping up to also produce enclosures for electric versions of the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator crossovers slated to be built in nearby Oakville, Ontario, in 2024, John O’Hara, president of Magna’s body and chassis group, told sibling publication Automotive News Canada.

The move came immediately on the heels of another Magna announcement last week that a battery enclosure plant in St. Clair, Mich., about 50 miles north of Detroit, will supply the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV.

That plant is being expanded from its initial investment of $70 million to $497 million now, quadrupling jobs to 1,200 and doubling its size to 740,000 square feet.

The manufacturing investments are significant as Magna works to shift toward vehicle electrification. But it’s not a simple switch.

Earlier this month, Magna blamed high costs related to its new EV business, as well as costs related to advanced driver assistance systems and other factors, for bringing down fourth-quarter earnings, which fell 80 percent from a year earlier, and sending its stock price lower.

But the company signaled it will continue to invest heavily in emerging product areas.

“The accelerating shift toward vehicle electrification opens up exciting growth opportunities for Magna beyond powertrain,” O’Hara said in a statement. “We have been able to leverage our expertise to supply battery enclosures — a product for which we see strong potential going forward.”

O’Hara told Automotive News Canada that the company has more battery enclosure business “in the pipeline.” In addition to the F-150 Lightning and Silverado EV, the company also builds enclosures for the GMC Hummer EV.

In a news release, Magna said it can tailor its battery enclosures, which house high-voltage batteries and other important EV components, to “meet the individual needs” of its customers. The enclosures can be made in steel, aluminum or multi-material configurations, including lightweight composites.

Magna ranks No. 4 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide parts sales to automakers of $36.2 billion in 2021.

Source link

By Admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *