SAIC and GM sign deal to develop electric cars
SAIC Motor Corp., Ltd. (SAIC) Chairman Hu Maoyuan and General Motors Co. (GM) Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson signed an agreement today in Shanghai for the co-development of a new electric vehicle architecture in China.
The Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) – SAIC and GM’s engineering and design joint venture in Shanghai – will serve as the development center for the architecture. Joint teams from the parent companies will also cooperate on the development of key components and vehicle structures.
The agreement will leverage SAIC’s market knowledge and local expertise along with GM’s expertise in electric vehicle development and global know-how. It will ensure local input in the development of electric vehicle technology and the delivery of products developed in China.
“The co-development of this new electric vehicle architecture demonstrates the broad range of benefits made possible by the strong partnership between SAIC and GM,” said Tim Lee, president of GM International Operations. “For almost 15 years, our two companies have forged some of the industry’s most successful joint ventures. This unprecedented level of cooperation is another demonstration of our companies’ commitment to work collaboratively.”
According to Chen Hong, president of SAIC Motor, “Our agreement will enable SAIC and GM to take advantage of economies of scale and get new technology to the market faster than by going it alone. It will help bring about our goal of leading the automotive industry in new energy vehicles and our vision of sustainable transportation, which we introduced at World Expo 2010 Shanghai.”
The electric vehicle architecture will be the first to be co-developed by the two companies. Their Shanghai GM joint venture introduced the Sail electric concept vehicle late last year. Establishing PATAC as the engineering lead for the electric vehicle architecture demonstrates not just the strength of the GM-SAIC partnership, but also the confidence and trust the companies have in one another to accomplish an aggressive and challenging project.
Under the agreement, teams of SAIC, GM and PATAC engineers will work together to develop key components, as well as vehicle structures and architectures. Vehicles resulting from the partnership will be sold in China under Shanghai GM and SAIC brands. SAIC and GM will also use the architecture to build electric vehicles around the globe for their own purposes. Product details and timing will be announced at a later date.
Accelerating the introduction of roadworthy technologies such as this future electric vehicle architecture is more important than ever, following the announcement of a number of more stringent emission and fuel consumption regulations around the world, including China.