VIENNA, Austria - Magna International Inc. could produce a low-cost car "to show carmakers how to take costs out of such a car," says co-CEO Siegfried Wolf.
Wolf drew a parallel to the Logan, a low-cost car produced by Renault subsidiary Dacia in Romania.
"The Logan was the first car where they really achieved the cost targets," Wolf told the Automotive News Europe Congress here on June 21. Renault's target was to develop a car whose manufacturing costs were about 3,000 euros, or about $3,773 at current exchange rates.
Wolf did not say where such a low-cost vehicle might be produced. But he said Russia has huge potential for growth as a production location.
"We have a couple of inquiries from Russia," Wolf said. He noted that the Russian government wants to have a successful domestic brand to compete against foreign carmakers that are increasing their share of the Russian market.
Magna could either build a car for an automaker customer or, more likely, sell its car parts, engineering and lean-production expertise to automakers in Russia and developing markets.
Wolf declined to say whom Magna is talking with about Russian production.
Magna subsidiary Magna Steyr AG makes cars for the DaimlerChrysler brands Mercedes, Chrysler and Jeep in Graz, Austria.
Wolf said a Logan-like vehicle could not be produced in Graz because of high labor costs in western Europe.
But speaking about production in general, Wolf said that by using Magna's production processes, carmakers easily could reduce costs by 10 percent at factories in western Europe and the United States.
You may e-mail Jens Meiners at [email protected]