Jaguar Land Rover Partners with Magna Steyr to Build Cars in Austria

Magna Steyr could make forthcoming Jaguar crossovers.

Jaguar Land Rover said today it is partnering with Magna Steyr to build new vehicles at the manufacturer's plant in Graz, Austria. Although Jaguar Land Rover hasn't disclosed which vehicles will be assembled by Magna Steyr, it's possible that Jaguar's forthcoming E-Pace and J-Pace crossovers could head there.

Jaguar Land Rover says that its existing U.K. production facilities will soon approach their maximum capacity (the company also has plants in China and India), so the Magna Steyr deal is necessary as JLR continues its goal to increase global sales. The company builds the Jaguar XF, XJ, and F-Type in its Castle Bromwich plant in the U.K.; the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport in Halewood; and the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Defender, and Jaguar XE in Solihull.

Given that Jaguar Land Rover says its plans to build future vehicles at the Graz facility, the forthcoming Jaguar E-Pace and J-Pace crossovers are strong possibilities (the Jaguar F-Pace is so close to production that its assembly plant has likely already been finalized). As we reported in May, the Jaguar E-Pace (shown above in our rendering) is a smaller crossover related the XE sedan and targeted at the likes of the Audi Q3 and BMW X1, while the three-row Jaguar J-Pace will be positioned to compete with models like the Audi Q8 and BMW X7. Auto Express reports that the Jaguar E-Pace will launch by 2020 and will be built in Graz, helping Jaguar expand its global sales. In 2014, Jaguar sold just 81,570 vehicles worldwide compared to Land Rover's 381,180 vehicles.

Magna Steyr's Graz plant provides contract manufacturing for several automakers. The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, Mini Countryman, Mini Paceman, and Peugeot RCZ are currently assembled there, and in the past the Graz factory has cranked out cars as diverse as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Aston Martin Rapide.