TOLEDO, Ohio -- Magna Steyr could handle at least one more vehicle line in the Toledo paint shop where it paints Jeep Wrangler bodies. That might give the company a toehold for its niche-manufacturing ambitions in North America.
The Austrian supplier could paint bodies for a non-DaimlerChrysler vehicle in Toledo, DaimlerChrysler and Magna Steyr officials say.
Magna Steyr is eager to become a niche manufacturer in North America. The Graz, Austria, subsidiary of the Canadian company Magna International Inc. already builds vehicles in Graz for the Chrysler group, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Saab.
DaimlerChrysler contracted with Magna Steyr to run the paint shop at its Toledo Jeep plant after Haden International Group Inc. ceased operations in February. Haden, of suburban Detroit, had been under contract to run and build the paint shop.
The Toledo paint shop is Magna Steyr's first in North America. Erik Brodin, manager of the paint shop, said volumes in the Toledo shop will be larger than those in Graz.
DaimlerChrysler officials have declined to reveal volumes at Toledo. The market research firm Global Insight estimates 75,000 units of the Wrangler two-door and 22,000 of the Wrangler four-door will be built during the first year.
You may e-mail Bradford Wernle at [email protected]