Canadian Manufacturing

Magna building composite rear hatch for BMW i3 electric car

Company building complete liftgate for i3, which is then shipped to BMW and directly installed on car



Magna collaborated with BMW to build a composite rear liftgate for the i3 electric car. PHOTO Magna

Magna collaborated with BMW to build a composite rear liftgate for the i3 electric car. PHOTO Magna

SAILAUF, Germany—Magna International Inc. has again marked its creative prowess through another innovative automotive project, this time building a composite liftgate for the BMW i3 electric car.

According to the Aurora, Ont.-based supplier, one of its plants in the Czech Republic is building the rear hatch after collaborating with BMW AG.

“Magna’s collaboratively-designed liftgate achieves the BMW i brand appearance and vehicle mass requirements through the use of a lightweight composite structure which integrates the liftgate’s functional systems,” the company said in a statement.

According to Magna, the liftgate’s locking and latching systems, windshield, wiper system, interior trim, exterior painted trim finishes, electrical power and signal distribution and tail lights are all integrated using a fully automated joining technology.

“Our composites and exterior systems expertise, as well as our ability to effectively collaborate with BMW to achieve shared objectives, were fundamental to our ability to deliver this novel liftgate,” Magna Exteriors president Joe Pittel said in the statement.

“This combination enabled us to meet the expectations of BMW and launch this innovative product in a relatively short time.”

The liftgate assembly is produced using advanced manufacturing and bonding processes before being shipped to BMW’s Leipzig, Germany, assembly facility, where it is installed on the i3.

“Magna’s ability to deliver innovative solutions that help our customers address market needs and industry challenges is a top priority for the company,” said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna’s chief technical officer.

“Delivering commercialized products demonstrate the company’s leadership position in innovation and positions us for future growth opportunities in a highly competitive industry.”

The news of Magna’s contribution to the i3 comes just weeks after the company unveiled a pair of innovative systems it developed for the BMW i8 hybrid sports car.

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