Published on May 14th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW & Toyota Confirm Z5 On Its Way
BMW and Toyota have picked Magna Steyr to build their upcoming roadster developed from a joint platform. The next generation BMW Z4, likely to be called the Z5, and the Toyota Supra successor will run off the assembly line in the contract manufacturer’s plant in Graz, Austria, starting 2018. Annual production of 60,000 cars is planned for the two models.
BMW has said it will contract Magna Steyr to build a new model next year after it decided to end production of the Mini Paceman and Countryman in Graz this year but has not named the model. The Countryman likely will be built at the VDL Nedcar factory in the Netherlands that already produces the Mini hatchback, although BMW has not yet disclosed the new production location. The Paceman is being axed.
The current Z4 has been on the market since May 2009 and BMW executives said early this year that no final approval had been given for a replacement despite the completion of feasibility studies.
Demand for two-seaters is largely dormant, which prompted BMW to ax the Mini Coupe and Roadster, along with the Paceman. Z4 sales fell 47% in the first quarter and the model accounts for just three-tenths of 1% of BMW brand’s volume.
Magna Steyr is a unit of Canada’s Magna International and its specialty is building low volume cars, ideal for a niche model like a roadster. The Graz factory currently builds the Mercedes G class SUV.
Earlier this month Magna Steyr said retooling works at the Graz plant are on schedule and will be completed next year. It forecast that annual production at Graz will surpass 200,000 vehicles in 2018. Last year Graz built 103,904 cars.