From tool shed to global player
29 May 2009

Magna was started by self-made Austrian billionaire Frank Stronach as a tool and die company 50 years ago in Canada.

Today it is the third-biggest and most diversified car parts company in the world.

Click here to read Magna agrees Vauxhall/Opel deal

If Magna is successful in its bid for Opel it will have successfully reached its ambition to make the jump to fully-fledged car maker.

Magna has suffered in the present global economic climate like the rest of the car industry, but it is believed to have around $1.7 billion (£1 billion) of reserves.

The firm already counts most manufacturers as its customers – from Aston Martin to Volvo – and it is determined to continue working with them even if it becomes a car maker in its own right.

It already has complete vehicle engineering and assembly operations in Graz, Austria, and in 2008 recorded global sales of $23.7 billion (£14.7 billion).

Eastern Europe and Russia are seen as growth markets for Magna, and by partnering with Russian bank Sberbank Rossii and Russian carmaker Gaz on the estimated 700 million euro (£612 million) Opel bid expanding into these areas could become easier.

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It is currently growing in China, India, Africa and South America and global operations include 25 manufacturing facilities, 18 product development, engineering and sales centres, and nearly 5000 employees.

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