Magna Powertrain growing with orders from abroad

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Dual-speed automotive in the Bari area, almost a middle ground in the conversion from internal combustion engines to hybrid ones towards e-mobility. A good example of “double track” comes from Magna Powertrain (ex-Getrag), a company of the Magna International group, a global giant in the supply of components for the automotive sector. The Modugno site is under strong development. In fact, the production of 1.6 million triple clutch gearboxes for hybrid engines, therefore both endothermic and electric, of class A and B for Mercedes. The product life cycle is expected until 2034.

CEO. Aldo Cirilli drives Magna Powertrain

At the end of last year, a new order was acquired from a large European group for a double clutch engine, almost one million pieces at the end of the program, with a maximum capacity of 170 thousand units per year. «For us – explains Aldo Cirilli, CEO of Magna PT in Bari for 4 years – it is a strategic order because we are developing the hybrid variant on the same platform and therefore it is a start with this large European group which gives us hope for the future» . And in fact negotiations are underway with the same company – the outcome of which will be known within this year – for a further increase in the order. The double clutch intended for the primary European group can be combined, in the version awarded to Magna of Bari, with internal combustion engines which shows that “these products are not dead at all” comments Cirilli -. Manufacturers are continuing to invest in these traditional technologies at least for some markets and these are technologies designed in a modular way because they can easily become hybrid and therefore able to satisfy other types of vehicles”.

Magna in Bari is also focusing on the production of electric axles and is competing with the other plants of the group on this. A premium customer interested in the supply has postponed its strategic evaluation by approximately 6 months which should be completed within this first half of the year. This is 2.6 million units in the life cycle – with a maximum peak of 400 thousand units – to equip the customer’s high-end models. With this order portfolio we aim to guarantee employment for the almost 900 employees of the site whose intragroup turnover, in 2023, remained stable, at 800 million, as in 2022. Magna’s orders – together with the investment of 32 million in the Bari site of Magneti Marelli for the production of 4 new products intended for the internal combustion engines of the Stellantis platform – confirm that the conversion phase towards e-mobility is also in Bari, slow, gradual, proceeding along parallel, not simple tracks.

The transition challenges posed to the Bari hub require many resources and long-term strategies. Like what Leo Caroli, head of the regional employment task force that manages 40 crisis tables in Puglia, asks of Bosch, the other giant (production of pumps for common rail systems) present in Bari, with 700 employees in Cig on rotation.

«With Bosch we aimed to manage the redundant staff and carry out the gradual reconversion, but there is no industrial plan supported by the public with which to compensate, at the end of 2027, the transition to the new phase. In Bari Bosch must make serious plans for the reconversion – says Caroli – or it will be too late». The region, however, «is ready to activate a development contract with the Government to ad hoc manage the new phase, but – concludes Caroli – a project is needed». Together with the strategy the resources. For large companies there are program contracts to finance R&D and training, but not tangible assets. There are 4.2 billion in funding for this measure and the PIAs, and if at least 1.5 billion in FSC funds are released from total, tangible assets and old projects awaiting the green light could also be financed. But the Cohesion agreement with the Government is missing and everything is paralysed.

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