Austrian local newspaper Kleine Zeitun reported in May 2016 that the next-generation BMW Z4 (back then it was known as the Z5) and the revived Toyota Supra would be built by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria. Fast forward to present day, Automotive News Europe has heard basically the exact same thing, though Magna International got in touch with ANE and refused to either deny or confirm the plan:
“No announcement has been made by BMW or Toyota and we are therefore unable to comment.”
Both BMW’s soft-top roadster and Toyota’s coupe are expected to be built together at the same plant where the Mercedes G-Class has been in production since 1979. In recent times, Magna Steyr kicked off production of the BMW 5 Series and the Jaguar E-Pace, while the fully electric I-Pace is about to hit the assembly line as well. In total, the Austrian contract manufacturer estimates it will put together approximately 200,000 cars this year.
Gallery: BMW Z4 Concept: Pebble Beach Concours
We still don’t know when the Z4 and Supra will actually enter production, but there are reasons to believe the BMW will be the first seeing as how an official reveal has been confirmed to take place this summer. As for the much-hyped Supra revival, latest reports are indicating it won’t debut in production form until the beginning of next year, specifically in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Both models have been previewed, with the Z4 being teased last year in August by a namesake concept at Pebble Beach in California during the Monterey Car Week while the resurrected Supra showed up in concept form as the GR Supra Racing a few weeks ago in Geneva.
The decision to build the cars outside BMW and Toyota factories makes sense taking into account both the Z4 and Supra will be niche models in current times when demand for sports cars is declining. Retooling a factory to accommodate production probably wouldn’t be worth the effort and there’s also the possibility that the assembly plants are already running at full throttle, with no manufacturing capacity to spare.
Source: Automotive News Europe