The electric ARCFOX Alpha-T (also referred to as the α-T)compact SUV is based on Magna’s EV platform dubbedBE21, and was developed with joint-venture partnerBJEV, a subsidiary of China’s BAIC Group.
As of May 31, approximately 4,000 ARCFOX vehicles haverolled off the assembly line at Magna Steyr China's contractmanufacturing joint venture in Zhenjiang.
The facility has an annualproduction capacity of180,000 vehicles.
A banner with the slogan “Born Free,” reflecting themindset of the target customer, is one of the first thingsvisitors see when they enter the lobby.
The plant’s 200 painting robots are programmed so thatevery drop of paint is on the car’s body, not theenvironment, in a major sustainability initiative.
Magna is currently building the ARCFOX Alpha-Tand the ARCFOX Alpha-S sedan. Also slated forproduction by the end of 2021 is the ARCFOXAlpha-S Huawei sedan.
In a significant milestone, the BE21platform will be shared in the nearfuture.
Magna’s contract manufacturing in China offers newmobility companies a one-stop shop, including platformsharing, engineering services and manufacturing.
This is the first time Magna’s contract manufacturing has expandedoutside of Europe, where we have produced 3.7 million vehicles forMercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and others.
Did you know?
Magna’s EV contract production is designed tospeed new electrified models to market as the autoindustry transitions to clean mobility.
Magna is building electric cars for today’s young generation inChina. The ARCFOX brand is aimed at environmentally consciousbuyers living in high-rises in big cities.
ARCFOX has a nature theme. The name stands for arctic fox, a smallanimal that lives in the cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Magna employees are taking pride in the ARCFOX brand. Morethan 100 of them turned out for a special dealer ride-and-driveevent in Shanghai in May.
A Love of High Altitudes
In his spare time, Zhenyu Huang likes to fire up his PC and testhimself with the takeoff and landing challenges of Microsoft’s FlightSimulator, sometimes flying where maps don’t go.
He often is behind the controls of a virtual Boeing 737 orBombardier CRJ700, flying at high altitudes. The comparisonsbetween flight and managing Magna’s Zhenjiang contractmanufacturing facility are not lost on Huang, the vice president ofMagna Steyr China and the general manager of the tech JV withBeijing Electric Vehicle Co.
“Whether you are running a plant or a flight simulator, you needfocus,” Huang said. “You need the right combination of things tomake everything run smoothly.”
With any flight simulator, the goal is to land the plane as smoothlyand accurately as possible. Running the Zhenjiang facility, whichcurrently produces ARCFOX electric vehicles, is just as demanding.
“We aim to be a leading partner in China for zero-emissionmobility,” Huang said.
A major objective: Share Magna’s EV platform, developed with JVpartner BJEV, a subsidiary of China’s BAIC group, with non-BAICcompanies.
For new mobility companies with an “aggressive desire” to come tomarket, platform sharing may be the “only solution,” Huang noted.
“The platform gives our customers a solid foundation to start with,”he said. “Then, they can add their own styling and customerexperience and bring the car to market quickly.”
Contract manufacturing also provides the auto industry with amore sustainable approach to new mobility.
“We go beyond sharing a platform to supply-chain sharing,” Huangsaid. “Customers don’t need to build their own tools andcomponents which can be most cost-efficient for them. It’s a simplebut solid path for new entrants to bring their product to market.”