As an example, Magna this month introduced its EtelligentForce four-wheel-drive battery-electric powertrain system for pickup trucks that it says can be implemented in automakers’ existing gas-powered trucks without having to change their architectures.
“You can actually just drop it in a regular van,” said Magna Powertrain President Tom Rucker. “It uses the same points, the same suspension. You don’t even have to make major changes to your assembly line and manufacturing processes.”
It’s an example of how Magna hopes to bring value to automakers in the electric age, by providing solutions that can easily integrate with automakers’ existing technology, enabling their customers to save valuable resources at a time when R&D budgets are exorbitant.
Kotagiri said the relationship between suppliers and automakers will continue to evolve as electric vehicle technology develops.
“It’s important to have the balance to say, ‘I’m working with these OEMs; here’s their strategies and here’s what I’m doing for them today, but here’s the path for the next step,'” he said. -he declares. “It’s not just about saying, ‘Tell us what you want and we’ll give it to you. “
The Ontario supplier, which ranks fourth in the world on the Automotive News list of top suppliers by global annual sales to automakers, already has “significant content” about new battery electric vehicles launching globally, the company said during its call for fourth quarter results this month.
Among the vehicles it will provide content for are the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup, the Rivian R1S electric SUV, the Cadillac Lyriq electric crossover and the GMC Hummer electric truck, as well as models from Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes- Benz. Additionally, the supplier’s Magna Steyr contract assembly unit will build Fisker’s Ocean SUV at its factory in Austria.
“Obviously, if electric vehicles do well, we will do well,” Kotagiri said.
Kotagiri said the supplier sees the types of products and services changing as vehicles become more electrified and connected.
“When we say Magna is a mobility company, we don’t mean that we only supply systems and components,” he said. “That means we could play a role in managing infrastructure, whether it’s data or data storage. As vehicles and subsystems become more connected, there’s a game in there.”