Magna Steyr is insisting it will not invest “right now” in any Polish contract assembly in Warsaw as rumours intensify surrounding the future of its eastern Europe operations.
Speculation in Poland has now centred on whether BMW will choose Magna to manufacture the new Mini at the FSO plant in Warsaw, with the automaker apparently yet undecided as to any production commitment.
Some ambitious estimates in Poland have said up to 200,000 staff could eventually be taken on, although more conservative figures of around 2,000 employees producing 60,000 vehicles annually, appear to be more realistic.
“There is [nothing] we can say – we are not investing right now,” Magna Steyr spokesperson, senior manager external communications & media relations for Magna International Europe, Lea Treese, told just-auto from Austria.
“I have seen the reports – we have said we are not doing it right now. It has not been a topic the last few weeks.”
Speculation has centred on Mini and Infiniti vehicles being built under contract to BMW and Nissan Motor in the FSO plant in Warsaw, currently run by UkrAVTO of Ukraine.
In a strong rebuttal to just-auto last month, Magna denied it had specific plans for Poland, although it did leave the door slightly jar for further expansion into eastern Europe, should the economic position improve.
“Magna International confirms due to the uncertain outlook on the European automotive industry and ongoing customer negotiations, the company will for the time being not install a production facility in Warsaw,” said the supplier in a previous statement. “Our strategy to expand to Eastern Europe is still valid.
“No further details will be disclosed at this time.”
The FSO plant, operated by the Polish State, started vehicle assembly in 1948 making the Fiat 125p and Polonez cars up to 1989.
It was then taken over by South Korea’s Daewoo and, in 2005, by Ukraine’s UkrAvto, which produced Chevrolet Aveo cars for General Motors until spring 2011.