The cost and resource optimization program launched by the Volkswagen Group under the management of Oliver Blume has also affected the company’s plan to revive the popular Scout brand through an electric SUV and pick-up. This is obviously more competitive in challenging the dominance of American brands – such as Jeep, Dodge, Ford and GM – in the large and rich domestic market for light trucks, including electric ones. According to the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung of Graz, the Wolfsburg-based company has in fact decided to ‘outsource the construction and development of the models of these two models to Magna, the world’s largest specialist in the production of cars. other producers. In 2022, two years after the announcement of the purchase of the brand, Volkswagen launched a project to work and plan the construction of a dedicated factory in Columbia, South Carolina, with an investment of 2 billion dollars. Initially, Magna was supposed to take care of the assembly in the United States ( including the distribution of many parts), while the development and industrialization were carried out by Volkswagen.
Now the role of the specialist Austria’s Magna – according to Kleine Zeitung – has been reversed: production will be direct, but the delicate phase of development and manufacturing (which also includes the construction of prototypes) will be the work of Magna, for a fee that Kleine Zeitung indicates. for 450 million euros. The Austrian newspaper recalls that the Volkswagen Group has always been an important customer for Magna, and not only as a parts supplier. Three decades ago the company (then just called Steyr-Puch) developed and produced the Country Golf and it did the same with the commercial 4×4 variant of the T2 called the Syncro in this version. Later it was developed in Graz on behalf of the Volkswagen Group – until series production. also Audi TT. But the list of models that saw the light and became big in Austria is much longer. Magna has actually created (and often co-created) the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the E-Class 4Matic and above all the G-Class – born as a Steyr-Puch model -, but also the Jeep and Grand Commander. Cherokee, BMW Mini Countryman as well as Chrysler 300, Saab 9-3 Cabrio, Aston Martin Rapide and Peugeot RCZ. The deal currently covers the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, BMW 5 Series and Z4, Toyota Supra and Jaguar E-Pace and I-Pace.