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GM vows to tap new technologies

Matt Tsien, president of General Motors China, sat down recently with Shanghai Daily and talks about his views on Shanghai auto industry.
Ti Gong

Matt Tsien, president of General Motors China

Matt Tsien, president of General Motors China, has been with the US-based carmaker for 37 years. He has held the post since January 2014. Based in Shanghai, he oversees the operations of GM’s 10 joint ventures in China.

Tsien has a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and a master’s in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began his professional career as an electrical engineer at Delco Electronics in 1976.

In September 2017, he received the Magnolia Gold Award from the Shanghai municipal government for his contributions to the economic and social development of the city.

Tsien sat down recently with Shanghai Daily and talked about his views on Shanghai auto industry to discuss industry trends in China.

Q: What’s your overview on the development of Shanghai’s automotive industry?

A: Over the past few years, Shanghai has become a pilot city for new-energy vehicle promotion and development of intelligent and connected vehicles, as well as home to a number of automotive startups. Shanghai’s automotive industry, like the city itself, embodies what I believe locals call the “inclusive Shanghai spirit.” Fair competition backed by supportive government policies will bring the best out of every player. We plan to remain a leader in driving the automotive industry in Shanghai and China forward.

Q: So, what are GM’s plans for this year?

A: China has been GM’s biggest retail market for six consecutive years, and it will play an important role in the company’s global move toward a future of zero emissions, zero crashes and zero congestion. We will continue to work with our partners to introduce the best electrification solutions and advanced technologies to benefit our customers in China.

This year, we will have more new products coming to market. We are also really looking forward to the opening of our Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center, a new facility in Shanghai that will further enhance our local research and development capability. We are also building a Cadillac “experience center” that will open later this year in Shanghai.

Q: China is actively promoting the development of new-energy vehicles. Will you unveil more green cars in China in the next two years, and will they target specific consumer groups?

A: China will continue to play an important role in GM’s global move toward an all-electric future. We are on track to expand our new-energy vehicle product portfolio with more electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, which will include up to 10 models by 2020. When we look at new-energy vehicle strategy, we are really looking across the entire range of vehicles, from entry-level to luxury brand. Our new energy vehicles will be produced in China through our local joint ventures.

Q: Does GM have any plans to test intelligent and connected vehicles in the National Intelligent Connected Vehicle Shanghai Pilot Zone?

A: We really enjoy a good relationship with the Jiading pilot zone. We think there will be continuing opportunities to work with Jiading, either on V2X technology and maybe in the future, even on autonomous driving features. We think it’s a good place to some testing and demonstration.

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