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Magna Steyr Mila EV - Click image for high-res gallery

It looks like Ford won't be the only company getting lithium ion battery packs from Magna International. The Magna Steyr division of the supplier announced last week that it will begin production of packs at its plant in Graz, Austria next month. The packs will be supplied to Volvo for use in its buses, heavy duty trucks and garbage trucks equipped with hybrid powertrains. Volvo uses a parallel hybrid system for its vehicles.

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Magna tried and lost when Chrysler was for sale. Pulling a Marchionne, Magna's now trying to win GM Europe's Opel division for itself, and rumor is that Saturn is also on the shopping list. GM would get much-needed capital for the transactions, but it could also be facing its old properties as new competition. Of course, coughing up the money might be difficult, considering Magna's taken a shellacking so far this year.

Click above for high-res gallery of the Magna Steyr Mila EV

Click for a high res gallery of the Magna Steyr Mila EV

Click above for high-res image gallery of the Magna Steyr mila ev concept

Click above for high-res image gallery of the Magna Steyr mila ev concept

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

The Magna MILA Alpin concept car shown in Geneva has gotten the attention of both Mercedes and BMW. The button-cute 4-wheeler rode on a flexible platform, could utilize a variety of fuel sources, climb 45-degree angles, and get up to 120 mph. Those capabilities, and the ability to be easily rebodied and cost-effectively manufactured, have the two premium brands looking at ways to bolster their lineups and enviro-credentials.

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

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It appears that Magna Steyr wants to expand their horizons in the wake of losing the BMW X3 assembly business. At the Advanced Automotive Battery and Ultracapacitor Conference (AABC), Battery Systems Product Manager Peter Pichler announced that series production of Magna's lithium ion battery packs would be in production in 2009. The initial packs will use cylindrical cells while packs with prismatic cells would enter production in 2010. The first packs for mild hybrids will be air-cooled but fu

Damon reported the other day that BMW has decided to shift production of the next generation X3 to their Spartanburg, SC plant. While that's good news for the employees in Spartanburg, it's the second big loss for Magna International this week. After losing out to Cerberus in the bidding for Chrysler, they are on the short end of the X3 production deal.