By Douglas Bolduc, Automotive News Europe
Munich, Germany -- Automotive supplier and assembler Magna Europe president Guenther Apfalter foresees a difficult six months for Europe.
"The outlook for the second half is a little bit bumpy," Apfalter told Automotive News Europe, adding that the region's debt crisis is affecting key decisions regarding the Austria supplier's car-making pact with Nissan.
Nissan signed a letter of intent in May with Magna's contract manufacturing arm, Magna Steyr, to have it produce a compact-premium model for the Japanese automaker's luxury brand, Infiniti. So far, the companies have yet to announce where the car will be made.
Magna Steyr has a plant in Graz, Austria, where it produces cars for Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz, Mini and Peugeot. Poland's deputy economy minister recently was quoted as saying that Magna would produce the Infiniti at the former FSO factory in Warsaw.
Apfalter, who is also president of Magna Steyr, declined to comment on the report. He said that a decision would be made in the next few months. He admitted that in a perfect world the decision would already have been made. He blamed the delay on the Europe's economic uncertainty, which is reducing new-car sales. This is causing automakers to think twice before making any decisions on production.
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