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.