Canadian-based vehicle parts maker Magna International, which has vehicle development and assembly facilities here in Europe, has said it is willing to allocate a “big sum” to buy Chrysler, according to a newspaper report.


Magna is negotiating with Onex Corporation to help finance a purchase, Magna founder and chairman Frank Stronach told the Toronto Globe and Mail.


“It’s a big sum we would allocate,” Stronach told the paper, although he reportedly refused to reveal the size of Magna’s bid. “We would make a big commitment,” he added.


Stronach told the Globe and Mail his company is in talks with Gerald Schwartz’s Onex, a buyout firm, about working on a bid.


He told the paper that the two high-ranking business figures have known each other for years and speak occasionally – Heather Reisman, who is an Onex director and Schwartz’s wife, also once sat on the Magna board.


“We’d like to have some partners and Gerry would be a good partner,” Stronach told the Globe and Mail from Austria, where Magna has its vehicle assembly operations, building models that include Chrysler’s 300C and Voyager minivan plus the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.


Sources “familiar with the situation” have told The Globe and Mail that Magna, with its experience running factories, would help to streamline Chrysler’s operations and Onex would focus on the company’s finance arm.


The paper noted that bidders for Chrysler are scheduled to make pitches this week to parent company DaimlerChrysler.


DC to see Chrysler bidders