Toronto, Ontario based Magna International is the third largest automotive supplier in the world with 2005 sales of $22.8 billion. They have had a long relationship with DaimlerChrylser both in North America and Europe including running an assembly plant in Graz, Austria that builds various Chrysler models for the European market. Amid the flurry of speculation in recent days about the fate of the Chrysler Group comes a new one from Just-Auto: Magna buys Chrysler and hooks up Wolfgang Bernhard to run the show in Auburn Hills.
Although Magna is a big enough company that they may well be able to pull off such a large transaction, other suppliers are worried about the effects on them. If a company like Magna owned the carmaker would they lock out other competing suppliers like Lear, Johnson Controls, Collins and Aikman and others? Certainly, when GM owned what is now Delphi, it was a lot harder for outside suppliers to bid on contracts that Delphi also produced like brake and steering systems. The other big part of this speculation has Wolfgang Bernhard, now free of his VW obligations stepping in to run the show. This one evolves out of a previous rumor that Bernhard was going to be hired to succeed Magna founder Frank Stronach who may be ready to retire.
[Source: Just-Auto - subscription required]