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Magna: Rapprochement to Opel through Astra-order

Published: September 29, 2010; 14:45 · (Vindobona)

Magna will take over the development of a new Opel Astra model. Just a year ago, Magna attempted to acquire the whole German GM subsidiary, but the takeover was aborted by General Motors.

Magna: Rapprochement to Opel through Astra-order / Picture: © Adam Opel AG

Magna Steyr’s automobile production plant in Graz is on the road to a new business. As the Handelsblatt reports, the supplier group has good chances to grab the contract to develop the successor model to the Opel Astra Cabriolet. The car should hit the market in 2013 and replace the current Astra with the folding roof.

The potential sales volume is not that interesting, but the rapprochement between General Motors -Opel's parent company- and the supplier group Magna is. It would be their first collaboration since the failure of Opel's acquisition by Magna last year. The acquisition of Opel by Magna was frustrated by the unexpected decision on part of the sellers to keep the German subsidiary. Despite a cost of millions and the loss of orders from the VW Group, Magna ultimately decided not to sue their major customer General Motors.

Between 100 and 120 jobs will be created in Styria for vehicle construction due to this contract, its value being allegedly in the low single-digit million area. The impact on production would probably be rather modest, because the convertible Opel is not exactly a volume model.

Magna's plant in Graz was built out in its heyday to a capacity of 250,000 cars per year. In recent years however, orders successively broke off, especially the construction of the blockbuster BMW X3 and the Chrysler minivans. Currently, about 80,000-100,000 vehicles leave the production band yearly.

Magna Steyr will go on manufacturing the Mercedes G until 2015 and the Aston Martin in Styria. The construction of the Peugeot RCZ and the Mini SUV Crossover also provide for employment.

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