GM China's Advanced Technical Center underway
Following the completion of its corporate campus in Shanghai in 2009, General Motors has strengthened its Chinese activity by breaking ground on the GM China Advanced Technical Center.
The new facility, which will be adjacent to the GM International Operations and GM China Headquarters in Shanghai, will develop advanced vehicle designs and technology solutions for GM on a domestic and global basis. It will be part of GM’s global engineering and design network.
“As an integral element of our global product development strategy, the GM China Advanced Technical Center will create advanced technologies and lead GM's global research in targeted areas,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group. “We expect it to become one of GM’s most important and comprehensive technical and design facilities worldwide.”
Right: Kevin Wale speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony
The GM China Advanced Technical Center will include 62 test labs and nine research labs. It will also be home to four key research and design organizations, comprising:
* China Science Lab. This lab was launched in 2009, and is engaged in research and technology development that should lead to applications over five to 15 years. Its focus is on advanced propulsion system research, manufacturing process research, megacity smart traffic research, customer-driven advanced vehicle development, battery cell material and fabrication research, and lightweight material research.
* Vehicle Engineering Lab. This lab will localize technology for the Chinese market. It will carry out the testing and development of electric vehicles, research on alternative energy vehicles, research and development of battery technology in conjunction with Chinese suppliers, and product development featuring advanced technology and design solutions with GM’s domestic joint ventures.
* Advanced Powertrain Engineering Lab. This lab will carry out research and development work on advanced propulsion systems, including electrification technology, alternatives to petroleum-based fuels in conventional powertrains, and unique conventional powertrains for the local market, as well as development and testing of new materials for powertrain products.
* Advanced Design Center. The Center will play a significant role in supporting GM’s global design resources, with a focus on meeting local needs. Its world-class capabilities will include a digital visualization center and secure indoor and outdoor viewing/exhibition areas. It will gather and analyze information on automotive, fashion and other design trends in the Chinese and regional markets to support vehicle development.
Construction of the GM China Advanced Technical Center will be completed by the end of 2011. Within five years, it is expected to have more than 300 employees, including designers, researchers, engineers and technicians. The new facility will complement GM’s engineering and product development partnerships in China, including the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) in Shanghai and the China Automotive Energy Research Center (CAERC) in Beijing.
According to Wale, “As a global technology leader and the global industry leader in China, GM is committed to working with the Chinese government, industry partners and the academic community in the development of tomorrow’s vehicles. By joining forces, we can accelerate the arrival of sustainable transportation and remove the motor vehicle from the environmental equation.”