Magna wins the bid to buy the German roof division of Karmann

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

Magna International Inc. awaits approval from European antitrust authorities after it won the bid to purchase the German roof division of Wilhelm Karmann GmbH. The Canadian auto parts supplier's rival to acquire the roof unit had been Spanish supplier CIE Automotive SA. Getting the roof unit means that Magna also gets shares in an operation in Zary, Poland, as well as a factory in Osnabrueck, Germany.

Furthermore, Magna has taken over Karman's roof production in Japan. These acquisitions now complete Magna's folding convertible roof division. In 2005, Magna had purchased roof system specialist and Porsche subsidiary, Car Top Systems (CTS).

After having accomplished a consolidation process the last few months, the convertible roof market is now being managed by two major suppliers, Magna and Webasto AG of Germany.

Market researcher CSM Worldwide said that Magna and Karmann jointly held a market share of 52.4% at the end of 2009. Magna's biggest rival is Bavarian supplier Webasto.

The company purchased insolvent supplier Edscha Group's convertible division last August. At the end of 2009, these two companies had a market share of 39.5%. The next largest supplier was Toyo Seat of Japan, with a 4.1% market share.

Webasto CEO Franz-Josef Kortuem is hopeful that with this purchase, the company's expertise in the softtop area will be boosted. It's notable that its strength had been in folding roofs.

Kortuem believes that the purchase is necessary "for the company to play a significant and successful role long-term." After the takeover, Korteum asserted that if it wasn't given the chance to acquire a rival, it would have been forced to think about exiting the business. [via autonews]

Topics: magna, germany

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