Plans for Magna to build Boxster and Cayman may be pulled because of Opel deal
25 September 2009

Porsche is considering rescinding an existing contract to build the next generation Boxster and Cayman at Magna in Austria from 2013, and may instead move production to Karmann in Germany.

In a move aimed at protecting closely guarded engineering and production cost secrets relating to its upcoming entry level roadster and coupe pairing, Porsche insiders say plans established under former boss, Wendelin Weideking, to build the Boxster and Cayman at Magna’s Graz factory in Austria are now being heavily reviewed following the latter’s bid to rest control of financially embattled Opel.

Porsche’s review of future Boxster and Cayman production comes hot on the heels of threats from parent company Volkswagen’s chairman, Martin Winterkorn, at the recent Frankfurt motor show, where he suggested the German car making giant, which is in the process of purchasing Porsche, may be forced to seek a new engineering partner if Magna’s plans to purchase a majority stake in its key rival Opel ultimately prove successful.

Since its introduction in 1996, Porsche has regularly relied on Valmet in Finland for the production of the Boxster depending on demand. In recent times, however, it has been brought back in-house, with production now taking place at Porsche’s traditional Zuffenhausen factory on the outskirts of Stuttgart along with the mechanical identical Cayman.

Porsche’s decision to move production from Valmet to Magna was originally made on cost and logistic grounds, although insiders now suggest the future Boxster and Cayman could end up hailing from Karmann, which recently entered bankruptcy protection following the loss of key contracts, including the Mercedes-Benz CLK cabriolet.

The loss of engineering work from Porsche and Volkswagen would be a major financial blow to Magna, which is already reeling from a major downturn in contracts in the wake of the world economic crisis. No firm figure has been placed on what the Porsche and Volkswagen contracts are worth, although insiders put them at “in the hundreds of million” per year bracket.

Still, they may not be the only car maker considering their relationship with Magna. BMW officials say an internal study has been kicked off to establish whether plans to build next year’s Mini Crossover at Magna could be advantageous to Opel.

Greg Kable

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Comments
6

25 September 2009

I think we can all guess where this is going...

Magna get spooked, pull out of the deal to buy Opel, GM find the £4 billion under the mattress.

I hope.

25 September 2009

There's another way to look at this - an elderly Austrian gentleman(Ferdinand Piech, Chairman of VW's Supervisory Board) attempts to show another elderly Austrian gentleman(Frank Stronach, boss of Magna International) who's top dog. Both are very wealthy, very powerful, very proud and very pig-headed(probably).

It is good that Karmann may get the contract, as they've already shed over a thousand workers through Administration. Didn't VW already take a financial interest(10%) in Karmann recently?

I think this won't affect ultimately Magna's desire to buy Opel. Other carmakers, besides Piech's VW and to a lesser extent BMW, have already said they see it as no problem having a supplier as a direct competitor, as long as the two branches are kept separate - Daimler for one. Magna stood to lose a lot of its revenue if Opel(GM Europe) had gone totally bankrupt as GM worldwide was its largest customer, so to some extent it was safeguarding its core business. If BMW pulls the MINI SUV Magna will still have other contracts for its Steyr assembly facility in Austria, including of course the Aston Martin Rapide, the quintessential British luxury car - built in Austria with a German built engine. Funny business the car business, but it's still motivated by people and their wills and egoes.

25 September 2009

I'm still betting that the whole deal is either a smokescreen or a very temporary arrangement until GM can miraculously afford not to sell (smokescreen) or regain control (temporary arrangement) of Opel & Vauxhall...

25 September 2009

Please use brain instead of spell checker: wrest, not rest!

Lanciaman

25 September 2009

[quote Lanciaman]

Please use brain instead of spell checker: wrest, not rest!

[/quote]

Some peeps are dyslexic man, this world ain't perfect...

Mofos just complain these dayz...

25 September 2009

[quote Topkat]

Some peeps are dyslexic man, this world ain't perfect...

Mofos just complain these dayz...

[/quote]

Please, please, go somewhere else to type your cr*p, you're a d8ck.

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