With Magna International set to take control of General Motors' European operations, it will be interesting to see how the Canadian parts supplier and contract manufacturer implements its electrification strategies. Last January, Magna and Ford announced a collaboration to produce a new battery electric vehicle beginning in 2011 based on the next generation Focus platform. In March, the company unveiled a concept called the mila ev built on a dedicated platform for electric and hybrid vehicles that Magna would offer up to other automakers.
The idea is that as the basic engineering underneath most mainstream cars becomes more and more similar, automakers could share common platforms and add unique bodies and interiors to differentiate them. Magna already has an assembly facility in Austria that builds vehicles under contract for automakers including BMW, Porsche and Chrysler. The acquisition of Opel would give Magna more platforms and manufacturing facilities to work with so that it could supply ready-to-use EV architectures to automakers. It's too early to tell how the relationships between GM, Ford, Magna and other automakers will shake out over the next several years when it comes to bringing electrified vehicles to market.