SAIC and GM to co-develop new electric vehicle architecture; Shanghai-based PATAC the engineering lead
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 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. (Earlier post.)
Under the agreement, the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC)—SAIC and GM’s engineering and design joint venture in Shanghai&madsh;will serve as the development center for the architecture. 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.
The new agreement is a follow-up to the non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) on strategic cooperation signed by SAIC and GM on 3 Nov. 2010 through which the two automakers had pledged to reinforce their collaboration in certain core areas of their business, including the development of new energy vehicles and the creation of a stronger and more integrated role for PATAC to work on future vehicles and powertrains. GM and SAIC are making an equal investment in the project. (Earlier post.)
The new agreement will leverage SAIC’s market knowledge and local expertise along with GM’s expertise in electric vehicle development and global know-how. The partners said 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. 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.—Tim Lee, president of GM International Operations
SAIC and GM are partners in 10 joint ventures in China, which are engaged in vehicle and powertrain manufacturing, sales and aftersales, automotive engineering and design, automotive finance and telematics, and the sale of used vehicles. The companies’ manufacturing joint ventures, Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling, are market leaders in China. In addition, SAIC and GM operate a joint venture in India and SAIC is an investor in GM Korea Co.