Frank Stronach began making metal sun visor brackets for General Motors in 1957. From his start as a one-man operation renting a tool and die garage in Toronto has turned into an international operation with more than 169,000 employees.
The company developed an employee equity participation and profit-sharing program in 1974. By 1981, Magna had sold its aerospace and defense operations to focus on the automotive industry. It began decentralizing major systems into independent, publicly traded companies during the 1990s while expanding into Asia.
Magna began designing automotive rearview cameras for Humvees in 2005 on its production line in Detroit. It was one of the first companies to develop rearview cameras for automakers and had a 350,000 unit contract by 2007. The company has produced more than 46 million components and opened a $66.5 million plant to produce cameras and driver-assistance components.
In February 2021, the office of the governor of the state of Michigan announced that Magna plans to open a facility in the city of St. Clair to build battery enclosures for the 2022 Humvee electric pickup. The battery enclosures will be produced at GM’s facility in Detroit and Hamtramck. The new facility is expected to cost $70 million and to create over 300 jobs for the state.
In April 2021, founder Frank Stronach announced that the company was creating a 3-wheeled, one person, electric vehicle that would be able to use most bike lanes. For city traffic, Stronach believes the vehicle, called the Sarit, would be beneficial and that it will eventually change the world of cars and transportation as we know it.
The top speed for the Sarit is 20 MPH and the current price is $5,000 dollars. Stronach has not said when they expect to have the vehicle ready for sale to the public.
The US corporate office for Magna International is located in Troy, Michigan.