Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp. USA Inc. (SAIC USA) recently unveiled its new North American Operations Center in Birmingham, Mich., marking an important step in creating a stronger connection between the U.S. and Chinese automotive industries, according to a company release.
With the increasing importance of cooperation between the major global automotive markets, this move by SAIC to strengthen its U.S. presence is significant.
Reflecting the importance of this event, the inauguration ceremony held on June 12 was attended by senior executives from General Motors, SAIC Motor in Shanghai, major automotive suppliers and partners from the U.S. and China, as well as the Gov. Rick Snyder and Oakland (Mich.) County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.
The traditional exchange of gifts between leaders of SAIC Motor and Michigan officials was symbolic of the growing relationship between Shanghai and the state of Michigan.
The totally refurbished 30,000-square-foot, three-story SAIC USA Building in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham will eventually house nearly 100 people and will focus on three main areas of SAIC USA's automotive business:
-- Purchasing -- sourcing and purchasing of automotive parts, materials and components working with about 150 North American suppliers.
-- Logistics -- the export and import of automotive parts and components.
-- Technology and Engineering -- design, engineering and quality control for development and production of vehicle parts and components.
SAIC USA's parent company, Shanghai-based SAIC Motor, is the largest automotive manufacturer in China. Major vehicle companies under SAIC Motor include Shanghai GM, Shanghai VW, SAIC Motor Commercial Vehicle Co., SAIC-GM Wuling Automobile Co. and many others.
SAIC Motor sold over 4 million vehicles in 2011 in the China market alone.
SAIC USA's decision to expand its operation center in Michigan was based on a number of critical factors, including access to a highly trained work force, proximity to key global automotive partners -- especially General Motors -- proximity to world-class automotive parts suppliers and the favorable business environment in Michigan.
Cooperation between U.S. and Chinese automotive companies is increasingly important in the new global automotive marketplace. According to SAIC Motor Chairman Maoyuan Hu, who attended the inauguration ceremony, "It is clear to see SAIC's determination to deeply cooperate with U.S. businesses, and SAIC will continue to promote the development of exchanges with partners in the US. I believe SAIC USA will enhance the operation of localization in the recruitment of professional, technical and management personnel and actively expand economic and trade activities."
Hu went on to say that "I believe SAIC USA will continue to work as a bridge and link between SAIC Motor and the US auto industry. Further, we expect SAIC USA will continue healthy growth in this market and this will be a new chapter of mutually beneficial cooperation for China and the US, with the support of both countries."
In his comments at the inauguration ceremony, Gov. Snyder said, "Michigan is proud to be home to SAIC USA, the North American operations of SAIC Motor, and we are thrilled that the company is expanding its global presence here."
According to Snyder, "The company's commitment to Michigan cements our standing as the automotive capital of North America and is a testament to the bold reforms we have made to improve our business climate, encourage new investment and growth, and create more and better jobs."
SAIC Motor is now the largest listed vehicle-making corporation on the Chinese A-share stock market. The main business of SAIC Motor includes R&D, production and sales of vehicles (including passenger and commercial vehicles) and components such as engines, transmissions, powertrains, chassis, interior and exterior trim and electronic and electric parts.
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