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General Motors partners China's SAIC on electric vehicle project

General Motors has announced a partnership with SAIC Motor in China to develop electric vehicles.

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.”

Chen Hong, president of SAIC Motor, said: “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.

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.

Today’s agreement is a follow-up to the non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) on strategic cooperation signed by SAIC and GM on November 3, 2010.

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.

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