GM and SAIC to Develop Electric Vehicles in China

General Motors will work with China’s largest domestic automaker to develop a new electric car architecture in China, GM said Tuesday. As part of an agreement with SAIC Motor Corp., the two automakers will collaborate on the development of the vehicle architecture, key components and structures, GM said.

The Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) — an engineering and design joint venture formed by SAIC and GM in Shanghai — will serve as the development center for the project. "The agreement will leverage SAIC’s market knowledge and local expertise along with GM’s expertise in electric-vehicle development and global know-how," GM said in a news release.

Executives from GM and SAIC signed an agreement in Shanghai to co-develop an electric-vehicle platform. "It will ensure local input in the development of electric-vehicle technology and the delivery of products developed in China."

Vehicles produced by the partnership will be sold in China under the Shanghai GM and SAIC brands, GM noted. The two automakers also will use the new platform to build their own electric vehicles around the world.

Accelerating the development of electric-vehicle technologies "is more important than ever, following the announcement of a number of more stringent emission and fuel-consumption regulations around the world, including China," GM said in a news release. The electric-vehicle architecture will be the first to be co-developed by the two companies.

This past November, GM and SAIC signed a non-binding agreement in which they pledged to increase 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 noted.

GM and SAIC, which are partners in 10 joint ventures in China, are making an equal investment in the electric-vehicle project. GM did not disclose the timetable for the project.

"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."