Magna International had been contracted to manufacture the Porsche Boxster and Cayman starting in 2013, but the Canadian supplier’s recent purchase of Opel may put an end to that deal.
Porsche, fearing that Magna – and subsequently Opel – would have access to its engineering secrets, is reportedly being “heavily reviewed” by corporate management. Volkswagen (Porsche’s new corporate parent) CEO Martin Winterkorn suggested at the Frankfurt motor show that both firms may be forced to seek a new engineering partner if the Opel purchase pans out.
The original contract, signed under the auspices of Porsche’s then-CEO Wendelin Weideking, would have shifted production of the Boxster and Cayman from Stuttgart, Germany, to the Magna-Steyr assembly plant in Graz, Austria. Although both models are presently produced in-house, it wouldn’t be the first time Boxster production was outsourced. The car was originally built under contract by Valmet in Finland.
Although the possible loss of the contracts could severely hurt Magna’s finances, it could be a boon for the ailing Karmann firm. VW is reportedly investigating having Karmann build the Boxster and Cayman, along with a production version of the Concept BlueSport. After years of losing various production contracts as automakers brought their convertible assemblies in-house, these relatively high-volume contracts could help set the firm back on solid footing.