CEO, Magna International
In his first year leading North America’s biggest auto parts supplier, after Don Walker retired, Magna International CEO Swamy Kotagiri was in the news for inking at least one billion-dollar deal, but also for a big one that got away.
Kotagiri’s push to grow Magna’s advanced driver-assistance systems business hit a wall when a deal to buy Sweden’s Veoneer for about US $3.8 billion succumbed to a higher bid from Qualcomm and New York investment fund SSW Partners.
Undeterred, Kotagiri is not wavering from his goal to establish the Aurora, Ont.-based company as a global player in the development of electric vehicles and self-driving technology.
“If there’s an opportunity to augment scale, our geographic footprint or the customer base, we’ll do what is necessary within the realm of the financial hurdles that make sense for us,” said Kotagiri, 53.
In February, Magna announced plans to invest up to US $70.1 million over five years to build an EV battery-component plant in Michigan.
In June, Magna finalized a long-term agreement with U.S. startup Fisker. As part of the deal, Magna Steyr, the supplier’s contract assembly plant in Austria, will build Fisker’s electric Ocean SUV, in addition to the models it produces for manufacturers, such as BMW and Jaguar.
The following month, Magna closed a US $1-billion deal with South Korea-based LG Electronics to build electric motors, inverters and onboard charges for customers.
In Canada, Magna joined Ontario’s University of Waterloo for a $1.6-million project designed to enhance safety and cybersecurity of autonomous vehicles.