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As vehicles get more and more complex, auto suppliers will need everything in their arsenal to win major contracts from automakers. According to an article on Just-Auto (sub. req'd), by the year 2012, automotive suppliers will bear more than half of the total research and development of a given automobile. What this means for suppliers is that they need to stay at the forefront in environmental technologies. Increasingly complex systems will be necessary for automobiles to meet stringent emissio

Those who follow the automotive industry closely are surely familiar with Magna International, one of the largest auto parts suppliers in the world -- so large, in fact, that the company was actually in on the bidding to purchase Chrysler from Daimler last year. Now it seems that the global company is throwing its hat into the plug-in hybrid ring. Magna founder Frank Stronach says, "You don't have to be a great scientist to know that we're going to be out of oil sooner or later." The company is

At the Geneva Motor Show earlier in March contract vehicle assembler Magna Steyr unveiled a concept for a small, lightweight off-roader called the Mila Alpin. The Mila Alpin was designed to accommodate a variety of different power-trains including hybrids and electric drives. According to German mag Auto Motor und Sport, they are now talking with both BMW and Mercedes about potentially using the Mila Alpin architecture to underpin new models from the German manufacturers. Since Magna doesn't pro

Click above for high-res gallery of the Aston Martin Rapide

Although we aren't too fond of making an SUV SAV into a symbol of good fuel economy (and some people think that Mini has gone mad because of this announcement), plans for the new MINI Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) are moving ahead. MINI announced that the SAV will be built by Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik in Graz, Austria, whch has previously produced BMW's X3. This move allows MINI to increase the number of models without needing to build a new plant. The standard Mini, the convertible and the Cl

With sales of Aston Martin's existing sports and GT lineup continuing at a strong clip, the question of where to build the new Rapide four-door becomes more problematic. For a company that is still relatively low-volume (7,000 cars last year) like Aston, investing in tooling for more capacity is difficult. That's where contract builders come to the rescue. Aston is reportedly talking to Pininfarina, Karmann, Magna-Steyr and Valmet about assembling the new car, with a decision due by the end of t

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