Magna International has signed a joint venture agreement with China’s BAIC Group and the Zhenjiang municipal government to build new energy vehicles in the city of Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province.

The factory will have production capacity of 180,000 vehicles per year and is scheduled to begin operations late in 2020 with production of the Arcfox electric vehicle developed by BAIC Group electric vehicle subsidiary BJEV. 

Magna is a leading global manufacturer of body and chassis systems and also has a contract vehicle assembly business in Austria called Magna Steyr, which makes cars for BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. 

Its participation in the Zhenjiang joint venture is the company’s first direct investment in a vehicle manufacturing company outside Europe. It is also an opportunity for Magna to extend its expertise to the development and manufacture electric vehicles, in addition to high quality conventional passenger vehicles.

In June 2018, Magna and BJEV agreed to form a partnership to jointly engineer and build premium electric vehicles in China and in January 2019 the two partners opened a new engineering centre and began construction of a new vehicle test centre in Zhenjiang.

Guenther Apfalter, president of Magna Europe and Magna Steyr, said his company was “excited to work with BAIC to further strengthen Magna’s e-mobility capability in the largest global market for new-energy vehicles”.