Magna International producing composite liftgate

The liftgate assembly is being produced for BMW's i3 model.

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Magna International Inc. (Sailauf, Germany) announced on September 29 that it is leveraging its advanced composites and exteriors systems expertise to produce an innovative, lightweight composite liftgate assembly on the BMW i3.

Magna's collaboratively-designed liftgate achieves the BMW i brand appearance and vehicle mass requirements through the use of a lightweight composite structure which integrates the liftgate's functional systems. Locking and latching systems, rear windshield wiper system, interior trim, exterior painted trim finishes, electrical power and signal distribution, tail-lights, rear window and a unique glass outer panel are all integrated using a fully automated accelerated joining technology. The sleek and stylish module is a completely-assembled lightweight closure, ready for installation on the vehicle.

"Our composites and exterior systems expertise, as well as our ability to effectively collaborate with BMW Group to achieve shared objectives, were fundamental to our ability to deliver this novel liftgate," said Joe Pittel, president Magna Exteriors. "This combination enabled us to meet the expectations of BMW Group and launch this innovative product in a relatively short time."

The liftgate assembly is being produced at a Magna facility in the Czech Republic, using advanced manufacturing and bonding processes to ensure a high-quality product scalable for high-volume production. The fully assembled module is transported to BMW Group's Leipzig facility for direct assembly in line.

"Magna's ability to deliver innovative solutions that help our customers address market needs and industry challenges is a top priority for the company," said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna's chief technical officer. "Delivering commercialized products demonstrates the company's leadership position in innovation and positions us for future growth opportunities in a highly competitive industry."

Magna International is a leading global automotive supplier with 317 manufacturing operations and 83 product development, engineering and sales centers in 29 countries, with more than 130,000 employees.