Magna to Build Modular EV With Israeli Startup REE

Magna International Inc. will develop a modular electric vehicle with Israeli startup REE Automotive, helping the Canadian auto supplier and contract manufacturer muscle further into a growing field of EV players.

The companies agreed to jointly design, engineer and build the EVs using REE’s platform, the skateboard-like base that supports different vehicle designs on top. The vehicles can be built to the exact specifications of “global technology companies and e-mobility players” while speeding their entry into the market, Magna and REE said in a statement.

“Many big tech companies are very much interested in creating mobility services and solutions that are global, big. But they don’t exist today,” REE Chief Executive Officer Daniel Barel said in an interview Sunday. “That vehicle can have any brand that the brand owner wants, but it’s powered by REE.”

Magna to Build Modular EV With Israeli Startup REE

The location and timeline for production, as well as financial terms, weren’t disclosed. Barel said the companies would split any revenues generated. The startup has signed agreements representing orders for around 260,000 vehicles that would use REE’s platform, Barel said.

Magna, which has been touted as a potential partner for a self-driving car from Apple Inc., has already made cars under contract for BMW AG and Jaguar Land Rover. Last year it formed a joint venture with Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. to make EV powertrains, aiming to position itself for the boom in electric vehicles. Magna is the world’s third-largest auto supplier, producing everything from chassis and car seats to sensors and software.

Other Deals

The Aurora, Ontario-based company also landed a deal with Fisker Inc. in October to make the electric Ocean SUV, which will be built in a Magna plant in Graz, Austria, starting in late 2022. It’s also expanding its manufacturing footprint in China, the largest EV market, by building the ArcFox Alpha-T for Beijing Automotive Group Co. -- the first vehicle it has assembled outside of Europe.

The deal reinforces the increased opportunity for Magna in electric vehicles, Credit Suisse analyst Dan Levy, who has an outperform rating on the stock, wrote in a note to clients on Monday.

Tel Aviv-based REE is one of a flood of EV and battery-related startups that have recently agreed to go public through special purpose acquisition companies, agreeing in February to merge with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. The deal valued the combined entity at around $3.1 billion. Magna was one of the private investment in public equity investors that participated in the deal.

Magna was little changed at C$112.08 at 10:35 a.m. in Toronto. Since the company announced the partnership with Fisker on Oct. 15, the stock had soared 64% through April 9. Shares of 10X Capital were little changed at $10.07 in New York.

REE’s technology integrates all of the traditional, core components for an EV -- like the powertrain, suspension and braking -- into arched wheel-well assemblies. It then fits those onto the four corners of a flat, modular chassis that can accommodate a wide range of battery packs and vehicle types.

The Magna agreement isn’t REE’s first such deal. In August, the startup set up a partnership to develop electric commercial vehicles with India’s Mahindra & Mahindra.

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