Mercedes has struck a deal with new Opel/Vauxhall owner Magna to develop and build the aluminium bodies for its new SLS supercar.
Since Magna took over Opel/Vauxhall from General Motors, rival manufacturers including BMW and Volkswagen have threatened to withdraw their business with the Canadian firm due to a potential conflict in interest.
Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has said he is not concerned about Magna owning a direct competitor to his firm.
"Magna has stated and confirmed again and again that they would have two totally separate organizations with Chinese walls,” he said, “When you go to a bank, you have to rely on those Chinese walls as well.
“So if that is a smart step that Magna is taking is one question; does it prevent us from continuing our good business relationship with Magna, the supplier? Clearly no -- so I have no problem from that perspective with their decision.”
Magna said its Magna Steyr unit based in Austria's Graz would build the aluminium bodies. This is the same plant as where the Mercedes G-class is also built.
Magna co-CEO Siegfried Wolf said: “We can be proud that we are the only supplier in Europe able to manufacture a body made only out of aluminium that underlines once more our leading position in challenging and innovative technologies.”