Cleveland, Ohio – When you’re a small, focused, luxury car brand, volumes are already low enough to prevent the economies of scale that automakers rely on to lower costs. So, offering even lower-volume niche models is even more of a challenge.
That’s good news for Magna International, a company proving itself to be the most flexible automaker in the world – a pretty neat feat for a company that doesn’t design or sell cars.
Magna has begun contract manufacturing for the Jaguar E-PACE, a compact SUV designed by engineers for the British luxury brand. Magna plans to make the vehicle in Graz, Austria, alongside the Jaguar I-PACE (all-electric crossover), BMW 5 Series (mid-sized sedans), BMW 530e (plug-in hybrid sedan), and Mercedes-Benz G-Class (massive SUV).
“This second collaboration in just a short time emphasizes the agility and flexibility we provide automakers with our contract manufacturing capability," said Günther Apfalter, president of Magna Europe and Magna Steyr.
Contract manufacturing for low-volume, niche vehicles is becoming more common.
- General Motors and Isuzu contracted with firetruck company Spartan to produce medium-duty trucks.
- Navistar builds commercial van cutaways from Chevrolet and GMC
- AM General, the company best known for military HMMWV vehicles, makes Mercedes-Benz R-Class vehicles in Indiana
To launch the E-PACE, Jaguar Land Rover turned to good, old-fashioned stunt attention grabbing. The vehicle set a Guinness World Record by completing a 50ft jump, complete with a 270° corkscrew barrel roll.'
”This amazing feat really was a sight to behold. While I’ve seen the barrel roll stunt in film, witnessing this incredible feat in real life was something pretty special,” said Pravin Patel, adjudicator for Guinness World Records.
The E-PACE is a five-seat, compact SUV, designed to resemble the Jaguar F-TYPE sports car.
About the author: Robert Schoenberger is the editor of Today's Motor Vehicles and a contributor to Today's Medical Developments and Aerospace Manufacturing and Design. He has written about the automotive industry for more than 17 years at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio; The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky; and The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.