GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire — Geely Holding, majority owner of Volvo Car Corporation (Volvo Cars) and Geely Auto, will establish a Research and Development Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Centre will develop a new modular architecture and set of components for future C-segment cars, addressing the needs of both Volvo Cars and Geely. The Centre will be run by Mats Fagerhag, currently Vice President at Product Strategy within Volvo Cars, and leverage on the Volvo technology leadership within Geely Holding. The new R&D Centre will employ approximately 200 full-time employees from Sweden and China.
“Our group has ambitious goals to increase the competitiveness of our brands,” states Li Shufu, Chairman of Geely Holding Group. “Geely will continue to improve its product quality in the years to come and can learn from Volvo Cars. However, the sharing of knowledge and technology has to be done without jeopardizing brand integrity and individual product development. We believe a stand-alone, yet joint R&D Centre with a focused approach is the best way to achieve this,” says Li Shufu.
The R&D Centre will be located in Gothenburg (Lindholmen Science Park), building on the extensive automotive competence established in the region. Recruitments of engineers are ongoing and the centre will be fully operational towards the end of 2013. The modular architecture and set of components will not only deliver world-class product technologies and attributes, but also considerable cost savings in terms of development, testing and sourcing, leading to the realisation of significant economies of scale.
Centre CEO Mats Fagerhag comments: “The modular design allows several different vehicle platforms to be developed from one single architecture, thereby ensuring tailor-made solutions for both brands. This will be a showcase for cooperation between a Western world premium car manufacturer and a thriving Chinese automotive company.”
Mats Fagerhag and his team will be supported by senior executives from the managements of Volvo Cars and Geely. Carl-Peter Forster, chief advisor to Geely Holding, will ensure that the development of the modular architecture and set of components will meet the individual brands’ specific requirements for different cost and attribute levels.
In parallel, the development of the Volvo Cars architecture for larger segments (SPA) continues within Volvo Cars’ own R&D organization. The first SPA vehicle will be launched in 2014.