Magna International is a world leader in metal body parts, but it has been very cautious when it comes to moving into so-called megacasting, which combines multiple underbody parts in one. Pioneered by Tesla and its suppliers, the process is being investigated by several automakers, with Volvo planning to start using the technique in 2025. But the move to megacasting carries risks. "I think we have got to be careful. It's not as easy as it seems," Magna's new head of Europe, Uwe Geissinger, told Automotive News Europe Correspondent Nick Gibbs on the sidelines of the IAA Mobility show in Munich. It was Geissinger's first interview since his June promotion. Magna, the world's fourth-largest automotive parts supplier, according to an Automotive News ranking, has multiple areas of expertise, including metal parts, fascias, electronics and seating. In June, the Canadian company completed the purchase of Sweden's Veoneer, an active safety specialist that Magna hopes will boost its revenue in a key area of concern for European automakers. Europe accounted for 40 percent of Magna's revenue in the second quarter of the year, putting the region a second behind North America.
Metal body parts and structures are Magna's biggest business globally. Raw material prices have been hitting automakers hard. What trends are you seeing?
Actually, steel came down a bit, which is good. Obviously, we have got to see where the entire market is going right now. There is a lot of uncertainty still, more on semiconductors, but steel prices coming down definitely helps the industry.