Magna E-Car Systems: A Hybrid-Electric Success Story

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take an interest in fuel economy. They started paying more attention to their mileage, which led car manufacturers to create odometers with more bells and whistles. Now, consumers are interested in their powertrain engines. The powertrain talks quite a bit to the car, Pavlov says, and people want to be a part of that communication.

“Consumers are attached to their electronics,” he notes. “Because of smartphones and other devices, we want to know more about our stuff.” We expect to have a more intimate level of interaction with our machines now, he says, and that extends to our vehicles.  “Essentially, we want to be able to communicate with one of our biggest investments. As the infrastructure around electric vehicles develops, consumers are going to have a lot more fun with and feel more connected to electric cars.”

He credits the upper management at Magna International for seeing the opportunity in emerging tech and structuring the company accordingly. And as Magna E-Car Systems waits for Western consumers’ love affair with electric-hybrid automobiles to blossom, it’s pursuing perhaps the biggest emerging market of them all: China. Although there isn’t “a building on the ground” yet, Pavlov says the company is keeping close tabs on the way Chinese customers choose to manage transportation in their sprawling, heavily populated cities. “It’s really exciting,” he adds. “Are we connected to what’s happening in China? Oh, yes. We want to align what we offer with what their needs are. We’re staying very close to this market.”

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Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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