General Motors and its Chinese partner, SAIC Motor Corporation, have formed a new 50/50 joint venture that will be responsible for the co-development of new electric vehicle architecture in China. The announcement was made in Shanghai, site of the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) -- SAIC and GM's previous-established engineering and design joint venture and location that will be home to this new operation. While the deal also will see the two concentrate on development of various key components for these upcoming vehicles, GM indicated that it does not include any provision to share technology already developed for its Chevy Volt, a car the automaker intends to export to China in limited quantities.
"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."
According to Chen Hong, president of SAIC Motor, "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."
Vehicles created as a result of this joint venture will be sold in China under Shanghai GM and the SAIC brand. However, each manufacturer also will be allowed to use the platform and components in other world markets as it sees fit. So far, there's no information on products or release dates.