Magna produces lightweight composite lift doors and active aerodynamic grille shutters in China

Innovation helps reduce emissions and improve fuel economy to accommodate fast-growing markets.

Magna (Troy, MI) continues to expand its presence in China, as evidenced by the recent two grand opening celebrations. Changsha’s new plant is a joint venture with GAC Components Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Guangzhou Automobile Group (Guangdong, Guangdong, China). At the end of 2018, it began to produce composite lifts for crossover vehicles of global automakers. This month, Magna’s plant in Shanghai started production of active aerodynamic grille shutters for American brands, producing a variety of vehicle platforms for the Chinese market.

“These facilities represent our growing product range: lightweight, composite lift doors and active aerodynamics,” said Grahame Burrow, president of Magna Exteriors. “Lightweight composites and active aerodynamics kits help customers achieve lower CO 2 emissions and improved fuel economy.”

As the market for crossover and sport utility vehicles continues to grow globally, there is a strong demand for lightweight, fully recyclable composite lift doors. According to reports, the lift gate module can save up to 25% in quality compared to the steel plate, resulting in better fuel economy and lower emissions. Composite materials are said to have greater design flexibility, deeper stretch and a more compact radius. Magna claims that the additional benefits of its system-wide assembly and delivery approach include reducing the complexity of the entire liftgate module, reducing tool investment and improving the operational efficiency of the automotive manufacturer’s assembly plant.

Active aerodynamic components further address fuel efficiency and emissions requirements by reducing vehicle drag. Magna said that its active aerodynamic expertise has grown over the years, with more than 10 million active grille shutter systems. The company said other products include active body, active wheel baffles and active rear diffusers, which are reported to be used in all vehicles from small cars to commercial trucks.

Magna has 55 manufacturing plants and 13 engineering centers in China with more than 22,000 employees.