Magna will build Chevy Silverado EV battery cases

It’s shaping up to be a big week for electric vehicle supply chain news in Michigan. Piggy-backing on Ford’s latest news that its multi-billion-dollar battery facility will be built in a new facility in Marshall, Mich., GM and long-time supplier partner Magna have confirmed that the latter will produce battery enclosures for the new Chevy Silverado EV in the same St. Clair, Mich., facility where it builds them for GMC’s Hummer EV. The news is certainly no surprise to anybody who follows GM’s electrification efforts, but it’s noteworthy nonetheless. 

“The accelerating shift toward vehicle electrification opens up exciting growth opportunities for Magna beyond powertrain,” said John O’Hara, president of Magna’s body and chassis group. “We have been able to leverage our expertise to supply battery enclosures – a product for which we see strong potential going forward. We have our eye on the future and are proud to play such a critical role in GM’s next generation of electric trucks.”

The components (individual batteries, electrical components, sensors, and connectors) we collectively refer to as the battery in a modern EV are packaged together in enclosures designed to protect them from debris and water intrusion and provide a crash structure in the event of a collision. 

Magna reported last Friday an 80% fall in quarterly profit and warned of more pressure on its margins from volatile production schedules at automakers and elevated costs. The auto parts maker’s U.S.-listed shares were down 13.7% and on track for its worst day in nearly three years.

Chip shortages, lost production and rising raw material costs have weighed on auto suppliers and auto executives say some of the pressures are expected to persist this year amid a looming recession. The company added it expects the global light vehicle market to be up about 2% in 2023, with volumes in North America and Europe — its two largest markets — to remain well below 2019 levels.

This article includes reporting by Reuters. 

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