GM announces China initiatives

GM announces China initiatives

Rick Wagoner, chairman of General Motors Corp., has announced the company will build a science and research center in China, in addition to establishing an automotive energy research center)

Rick Wagoner, chairman of General Motors Corp., has announced the company will build a science and research center in China, in addition to establishing an automotive energy research center) in partnership with Beijing’s Tsinghua University and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC).

Wagoner was joined for the announcement by Xu Dingming, Vice Chairman of the Office of China Energy Leading Group; Chen Hong, president of SAIC Motor; and He Jiankun, vice president of Tsinghua University.

The first of the OEM’s two major long-term strategy initiatives in China will be the GM Center for Advanced Science and Research, part of a new $250 million campus in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area, to be completed in late 2008. According to Wagoner, the center will focus on three areas of research: alternative fuels, advanced alternative energy propulsion systems, and manufacturing and supplier energy efficiency.

“The new GM Center for Advanced Science and Research will support China as it undertakes one of the most rapid technological transformations in world history,” Wagoner said. “It is designed to bring together various resources, including SAIC’s new Energy Unit, to accelerate research in the areas of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly automotive technologies, as well as alternative fuel pathways that are socially responsible, economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and technologically feasible.”

GM and SAIC will jointly provide a $5-million grant over the next five years to Tsinghua University to establish the CAERC. The center, based in Beijing, will work with government, academia, and related industries to reduce China’s reliance on petroleum-based fuel and develop a comprehensive automotive strategy for the country.

“Our university has long been known as one of the world’s great educational institutions,” said Jiankun. “GM and SAIC are among the world’s great companies. Bringing our organizations together to work on a comprehensive and integrated automotive energy strategy for China will be invaluable to the country’s sustainable mobility. This, in turn, will create tremendous value for China’s people by greatly improving the quality of life they and their children will enjoy. We’re very excited about the potential for our cooperation.”

These two projects are part of a long-term strategy of strengthening the links between the Chinese and U.S. governments, GM said, and the company plans to expand its relationships with Chinese universities and businesses. GM also will continue its collaboration with SAIC, their strategic partner in China.

“There are significant challenges and opportunities in China and around the world related to energy and the environment. By applying our joint resources and by working together, the GM Center for Advanced Science and Research and CAERC will help address these challenges. They will combine the best that GM and our partners such as SAIC, China’s universities and government agencies have to offer,” Wagoner added.

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