Magna has maintained its status as a jack-of-all-trades auto supplier, staying in businesses some competitors have abandoned.

“The important thing is even though we are broad in the spectrum of the products, we have good positioning in the products we represent,” says Swamy Kotagiri, chief technology officer. “Pretty much in every (sector), we are in the top five.”

Whereas Johnson Controls and Lear are exiting or have exited parts of the interiors business, Magna remains, although there were some lean years.

“We’re fixing the business,” Tobin says, noting in Europe Magna maintained too much capacity to fill plants and was too aggressive in its pricing during the economic downturn.

“Don Walker, our CEO, (said) that the (interiors) business model has been broken, (but) there still has to be an interior in the vehicle,” Tobin says.

Via its Cosma unit, Magna continues as a frame supplier in North America. Dana, which had been a leading competitor of Magna, exited the sector during the recession; Tower and Metalsa remain.

“We feel we’ve got some good technology and we’ve got some partnerships out there, and we’re going to be in it for the long term,” Tobin says of light-duty frames. “The (fullsize) pickup-truck (and SUV) market is going to be extremely popular for the foreseeable future, at least 10-15 years, mainly driven by (customer desire for) towing capacity.”

Most of Magna’s frame business has been with the Detroit Three automakers, but it is winning contracts overseas. In India, Magna is supplying the full frame for an SUV going into production next month, Tobin says, and it also will supply a frame for a Japanese automaker in Mexico later this year.