Should Volkswagen demand a Magna Carta?

September 22, 2009

GERMANY/Magna International seems to be taking seriously threats from Volkswagen to pull its business following the Canadian car parts maker’s Opel victory.

Magna’s co-CEO Donald Walker is saying that after talking to them, most of his other customers are happy that the car parts group — which along with Russian backer Sberbank is buying a 55 percent shareholding in GM’s Opel — is able to protect their technologies.

Apparently VW is still unconvinced, so Magna will “finalising the internal procedures” and will have more talks with the German carmaker.

Walker is also stressing that Magna is not looking to compete with its clients but is simply aiming to get a good return on its investment in Opel, reiterating that Magna will remain a parts company.

There seems little doubt that Magna can manage potential conflicts, after all it already builds cars for BMW, Chrysler and Mercedes as well as making parts for Toyota, Ford and VW.

But to say Magna won’t be competing with other carmakers once it starts building Opel cars is stretching the point. Why else would you buy Opel if it wasn’t to take market share from VW and others?

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