A new report from the newspaper Kleine Zeitung states that Magna Steyr has been picked as the contractor to build the roadster co-developed by BMW and Toyota. The successor to the Z4, likely to be named the Z5, will be built in Graz, Austria alongside the Toyota Supra’s replacement. The newspaper also states that an annual production of 60,000 vehicles is planned for both vehicles.
BMW has stated that it will contract Magna Steyr, a subsidiary of Magna International Inc., to build its Z4 successor after it decided to end production of two models in Austria this year, the Mini Countryman and Paceman. Production for the second-generation Countryman is expected to move to the VDL Nedcar factory in the Netherlands, which already produces some of the smaller Mini models. A Magna Steyr spokesman said that the company hasn’t yet been permitted to disclose which BMW model will replace the Countryman and Paceman while spokespeople at BMW and Toyota Europe declined to comment.
Despite the completion of feasibility studies, BMW executives said early this year that a final approval hasn’t been given yet for a Z4 successor. Demand for two-seat vehicles is currently low, which has led to BMW to discontinue the Mini Coupe and Roadster along with the Paceman. Z4 sales for the first quarter of 2016 have since fallen by 47 percent with the car only accounting for three-tenths of one percent of BMW’s brand volume.
BMW CEO Harald Krueger told Automotive News that its cooperation with Toyota would help make it feasible to continue having a roadster. “BMW has a long roadster tradition,” he said. “We will occupy the segment once more. It’s not big, but it’s important for the strength of the brand,” said Krueger.
Magna Steyr is a unit of Magna International, which is based out of Canada and specializes in building low volume vehicles. The company’s factory in Graz, Austria currently produces the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and will add a new Jaguar Land Rover vehicle that’s yet to be named. Magna Steyr also produced the Peugeot RCZ, which ended production last year.