Magna starts production of thermoplastic liftgates at new UK plant
The facility in Sunderland, England manufactures the liftgate modules for the third generation Nissan Qashqai.
Automotive parts supplier Magna International Inc. has started production at its new plant in Sunderland, England, which is making lightweight, thermoplastic liftgate modules for the third generation Nissan Qashqai.
In a news release, Aurora, Ont.-based Magna said the new state-of-the-art greenfield facility features “several advanced manufacturing technologies”, such as robotic adhesive bonding cells, advanced vision systems, and ultrasonic leak testing.
The plant currently employs 280 people.
“The thermoplastic liftgate on the new Qashqai is lighter than its steel predecessor, reflecting a growing trend among automakers looking to reduce mass to help improve fuel economy and lower emissions,” Magna officials said. “Thermoplastic materials enable deeper draws, complex geometries and tighter radii, resulting in greater styling and design freedom thus helping automakers distinguish their brands.”
“The market is transitioning to more lightweight, thermoplastic liftgates, and we are excited to support that effort,” said Magna Exteriors president Grahame Burrow. “As consumers continue to embrace SUVs, CUVs and other vehicles with liftgates, we see adoption of these modules increasing year over year, giving us more opportunity to further invest and take advantage of this high-growth, sustainable product line.”
Magna will deliver the liftgates for final vehicle assembly to Nissan’s neighbouring assembly plant. Magna also manufactures thermoplastic liftgates for the Qashqai’s sister platform in North America, the 2022 Nissan Rogue.