(Yicai Global) April 12 -- China’s state-owned carmaker Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., better known as BAIC Group, signed a cooperation agreement with Magna Steyr AG & Co KG to jointly develop a next-generation intelligent pure electric vehicle architecture for the Chinese market.
Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC Group, and Günther Apfalter, president Magna Europe & Magna Steyr, signed the agreement in Beijing on April 8.
This is the first cooperation deal between the two parties in the field of EVs and a significant step forward in Magna's China strategy, Apfalter said. Magna will provide BAIC’s electric vehicle unit Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., BJEV, with innovative and cost-effective solutions, including manufacturing system, electronic device architecture and lightweight technology.
BJEV is the market leader in the field of pure electric passenger vehicles in China with the highest number of pure EV sales in the country, reported the state-run Xinhua News Agency.
"We are proud to develop the next generation of advanced smart EV architecture together with BAIC," added Apfalter. "This is a further big step forward for Magna in vehicle electrification for the Chinese market.”
Magna is one of the world's top auto parts suppliers and one of the largest companies in Canada. Magna Steyr, the Austrian subsidiary, provides manufacturing and assembling services for European luxury car brands, including Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.
The cooperation agreement is one of the major projects signed during the state visit by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz during their joint visit to China.
The world’s second-largest economy is currently the leading market for electric mobility in the world, with around 700,000 electric cars sold last year. By 2020, the number of all-electric cars on China’s roads is forecast to reach around five million.