Building products for a wider swath of the market is the reason that Magna expects growth and has been gearing all of its divisions, including exterior plastic body panels, lighting and electronics, toward future production.
One example is the company’s transmission business. Currently, Magna targets only about 40 percent of the market with the dual-clutch and manual transmissions it builds. In the years ahead, its electric drive systems will target every EV on the road.
Entirely new components required by EVs will play a role as well. Last fall, for instance, Magna announced it would be building aluminum battery enclosures for Ford Motor Co.’s electric F-150 pickup. The lightweight enclosures will be needed on all EVs to protect batteries and electronic components from the elements.
Meantime, the powertrain division’s researcj pipeline has also begun to bear fruit.
Magna’s latest e-drive system, known as EtelligentReach, will premiere on a pair of EVs toward the end of 2022. EtelligentReach – what Rucker describes as a “complete system” — includes a pair of electric motors, inverters, gearboxes and specialized software to boost range and performance. Stacked up against production BEVs in the same class, the new e-drive system increases range up to 30 per cent, Rucker said.
The new powertrain will be turning the wheels of an EV launching in North America this year, as well as powering a vehicle for one of Magna’s existing clients in Europe. Both are SUVs and expected to be relatively low volume in the short term, Rucker said.
Shares in Magna fell 3.5 percent to close at $63.95 on Friday.
Magna, based near Toronto, Canada, ranks No. 1 on the 2021 Automotive News list of the top 100 North American suppliers with $15.7 billion in revenue generated from automakers on the continent in 2020. It was No. 41 in Plastics News' 2021 ranking of North American injection molders with an estimated $220 million in sales.