Magna International will assembling the complete load box for Ford’s luxurious
new Blackwood pickup/sport utility vehicle, a limited-production vehicle that
will be sold next year only in the US, reports Toronoto’s Globe and Mail.

The box assembly job goes further than anything else the Canadian parts giant
has done in terms of assembly or managing of projects for auto makers in North
America, Magna president and chief executive officer Don Walker said in an interview
with the newspaper.

The company was also programme manager for the project, responsible for making
sure that all of the deadlines in developing the vehicle were met.

The Blackwood deal doesn’t involve as much responsibility as the company’s
contracts in Europe to assemble complete vehicles for DaimlerChrysler and Saab,
but it showcases Magna’s assembly and design capabilities, Mr. Walker said.

The Blackwood is designed to be an ultra-luxurious pickup/SUV and less than
10,000 will be produced at Ford’s assembly plant near Kansas City, Missouri,
The Globe and Mail said.

The newspaper noted that the contract could be the first of such deals as auto
makers strive to outdo one another and react quickly to market trends by manufacturing
niche vehicles off existing underbodies.