Magna Steyr builds automobiles for some of the world's best, but now it needs an American foothold to take advantage of EV credits.
Magna Steyr is a Canadian-owned company, but its most prominent plant is situated in Graz, Austria. There, the automaker produces vehicles for some of the world's finest OEMs. In its repertoire are the Toyota GR Supra, the BMW Z4, and the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Magna Steyr is one of the best, but because the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act stipulates that final assembly of an EV must take place in North America for said EV to qualify for tax credits, it now needs to find an American site on which to put down roots for future projects.
Magna Steyr's vice president Kurt Bachmaier told German publication Automobilwoche, "We want to enter the US market. We are intensively looking for a location right now."
The plant intends to generate sustainable electricity and will choose the site for its new plant based on factors like how windy and sunny it is. "We want a climate-friendly plant," said Bachmaier, before stating that the state of California had been ruled out as a potential location, although he did not elaborate on why. Fisker Inc. is currently located in Southern California.
The decision to construct a production facility in the US is motivated by the company's future and potential future EV undertakings. Among them is the Fisker Ocean electric SUV, which is slated to enter production in Austria in November of this year, but that's not the only EV in the manufacturer's sights.
Back in 2015, Magna Steyr presented a concept to visitors at the Geneva Motor Show. Called the Mila Plus, the hybrid sports car concept was designed to attract automakers who did not have their own hybrid electric sports car platform, but other entities have been linked with the Canadian company. A working example of the Sony Vision-S electric concept was built in collaboration with Magna Steyr, Nvidia, Continental, and other industry leaders. The company was also rumored to be in talks for the production of the long-delayed Apple car. All of this indicates that Magna Steyr is confident that it can make the switch to EV production.
It may be some time before further developments on an American facility will come to light, as the company is still in the process of evaluating various areas of the country to find the right mix of suitably qualified employees, acres of space, and easy access to suppliers.
Fisker, for one, will be watching the situation closely. Before the passing of the IRA, Fisker would not have cared too much about where its hotly-anticipated SUV will be produced, but now the company will surely want to take advantage of tax credits. In addition, producing Fisker Inc.'s first EV on American soil would go a long way to reassuring US customers that it will be here for the long haul.