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GM and SAIC Announce Push to Develop and Produce Hybrids and Fuel Cell Vehicles in China

GM and SAIC Motor Corp signed a Memorandum of Understanding today in Shanghai that builds on earlier agreements to explore opportunities for the local application and production of energy-efficient and environmentally clean vehicles in China.

GM and SAIC will pursue passenger car hybrid options as well as other clean-energy vehicle applications including hydrogen fuel cell technologies for China’s relevant vehicle platforms. The goal is to have available a number of different models designed to meet the different needs of China’s consumers. The introduction of locally manufactured vehicles is targeted to be available beginning in 2008.

The two partners will also explore the expansion of the current GM-Allison-SAIC hybrid demo bus program announced last October (earlier post) to a larger bus fleet for Shanghai’s mass transportation system in advance of the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

The Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), a GM-SAIC joint venture in Shanghai, will be responsible for hybrid system application engineering and integration in vehicles.

PATAC’s designers, engineers and technicians will be involved in a number of hybrid programs applicable to vehicles manufactured by Shanghai GM. They will build complete demonstration vehicles, assessing various hybrid concepts for near-term production and developing local competency in regenerative braking, electric power steering and high-voltage battery systems.

Many of these technologies may have direct application in the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which both GM and SAIC believe is the ultimate solution to sustainability.

The collaboration between SAIC and GM brings together the best resources that our two countries and their two industry leaders have to offer. As a company with a major stake in China, GM believes that we must focus on the industry of tomorrow. By working together, we can help take China one step closer to the era of sustainable transportation.

—GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner

SAIC Motor will focus on technology and innovation in the development of clean energy vehicles. We will work closely with research institutions to actively promote the development of key technologies. We also attach great importance to cooperation with our joint venture partner. By further strengthening our partnerships and enabling our joint ventures to play a major role in the development process, we hope to get clean energy vehicles to the market at the earliest possible date.

—SAIC Chairman Hu Maoyuan

This announcement builds on an earlier agreement signed by GM and SAIC in Shanghai on 30 Oct 2004, for the development and commercialization of clean energy vehicles (earlier post).

GM has reported a 27.8% jump in its vehicle sales in China to 472,468 units in the first nine months of this year. The double-digit increase was led by sales at its passenger car venture with SAIC.


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