Economic development officials constantly monitor the industry for the next automaker needing a North American assembly plant. But one global manufacturer might surprise them: Magna International.
Magna CEO Don Walker is keeping his options open on building the company's first North American vehicle assembly plant, for its Magna Steyr subsidiary.
Steyr has no plan in the works, Walker says, but he will build a plant here if customers give him cause.
"We get a lot of requests," Walker told Automotive News of the idea of building vehicles in North America. "It's typically a unique vehicle, or a peak volume. But I think that if we had a plant here we'd be getting a lot of business."
Steyr, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canadian parts giant, is unique in automaking: a contract manufacturer that operates one vehicle assembly plant, in Graz, Austria. Graz builds the BMW 5 series, Jaguar I-Pace, Jaguar E-Pace and Mercedes-Benz G class. In June, the company said it will produce the redesigned BMW Z4.
The plant is expected to turn out about 200,000 vehicles this year.