Jaguar will build its forthcoming I-Pace full-electric crossover with contract manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth told Automotive News Europe.
Jaguar and its sibling brand, Land Rover, signed a contract to build vehicles at Magna's Graz plant in July 2015 but at that time JLR didn't specify which models the would be produced there. Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche reported then that Magna would manufacture an electric vehicle and the new Land Rover Discovery for JLR.
Speth confirmed that the I-Pace would be one of two vehicles that Magna builds for JLR. He declined to confirm whether the second model would also be an EV or whether the car would be for the Land Rover brand.
Construction has already begun on an extension to Magna's production facilities in Graz to prepare for output of two JLR models. German magazine Automobil Produktion reported this week that marketing group IHS Automotive foresees production of about 13,000 I-Pace SUVs with Magna in 2019, the EV's first full year on the market.
Jaguar previewed the I-Pace at the Los Angeles auto show this week. The production version will go on sale globally in the second half of 2018, providing the UK brand with a rival to EVs planned by German competitors Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
Magna currently builds the Mercedes G class for Daimler and the Mini Countryman for BMW Group in Austria, according to the Automotive News Europe Guide to European Assembly Plants. Output of the Countryman will end this year and be replaced by production of the BMW 5 series.