"In the next few weeks" should decide whether the automotive supplier company Magna in Graz (Styria) or Maribor (Slovenia) will manufacture a Chinese e-car model. This is what Günther Apfalter, head of Magna Europe and Asia, said in the Ö1 business magazine “Saldo” on ORF radio on Friday. Currently you cannot travel to China without a 14-day quarantine - but he hopes to be able to continue this project in the near future.
In China, the Canadian Magna Group is already building an electric model in a joint venture. Magna Steyr has long been hoping to bring production to Europe for a Chinese manufacturer. “I see these opportunities as very good in the years to come. We are excellently positioned for this, ”said Magna Steyr President Frank Klein a year ago. From 2022 the fully electric SUV “Fisker Ocean” will be manufactured at Magna Steyr in Graz, company founder Henrik Fisker was on a quick visit to Graz just last week. In media reports there was talk of possibly up to 50.000 pieces per year.
Apfalter, who has been responsible for business in Europe for more than ten years at Magna and for a year also for Asia including China, again pleaded for “absolute technology openness” on the question of future drive technologies, regardless of whether the vehicle is battery-electric be driven or by a combustion engine or with an e-fuel cell or synthetic fuel of the future. It is important to look at the entire energy balance and the entire value chain of a vehicle - including the origin of the electricity, the raw materials and the topic of recycling. The switch to other types of drive will "not be a revolution, but a more dynamic evolution". There are currently over 1,2 billion vehicles worldwide, the older stock should be replaced with a newer one.
The issue of chip shortages is “a daily challenge” and “also an impact of the pandemic, that will continue for some time,” said Apfalter. He suspects that this is why a few hundred thousand fewer cars will be built globally this year, which we will hopefully make up for. Magna has "never" had problems getting skilled workers in Europe, and they are also encountered on a global level. (apa)