GM, SAIC power up to lead electric cars

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, September 21, 2011
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General Motors Corp and its Chinese partner SAIC Motor yesterday agreed to co-develop a platform for a new generation of electric vehicles in China, the first joint development between a Chinese auto company and a foreign auto group.

The move will further deepen the strategic partnership between the two carmakers which want to lead the new energy vehicle market in China. It will also bolster the two partners in meeting competition from Nissan and Volkswagen, which have also aggressively boosted their presence in the green vehicle segment in the world's largest auto market.

Under the agreement, the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center - SAIC and GM's engineering and design joint venture in Shanghai - will serve as the development center for the new EV architecture.

Engineering teams from the two companies will also work together to develop key components and vehicle structure.

"The agreement will leverage both sides' expertise in developing new energy vehicles and to speed up industrialization with a lower engineering cost," said Chen Zhixin, executive vice president of SAIC.

Tim Lee, head of GM's international operations, also said the cooperation is further proof of the plan by SAIC and GM to lead China's automotive industry in new energy fields.

Vehicles produced under the partnership will be sold in China under Shanghai GM and SAIC brands. SAIC and GM will also use also the platform to build electric vehicles worldwide, the company said.

China's more stringent emission standards and bold plans for green vehicles have pushed carmakers to roll out electric cars more quickly despite inadequate infrastructure and high vehicle prices.

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