Chinese automaker to expand R&D center in US state of Michigan
Guangzhou Automobile Group is investing more than US$4.4 million and creating 62 jobs with a new research and development facility in Farmington Hills in US state of Michigan.
"This is incredible news for Oakland County," Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder said in a news release issued by the governor's office on Friday.
"This investment is the product of continued friendships and working relationships with foreign investors that have led to more jobs for Michiganders. We look forward to working with GAC as the company grows and adds jobs here."
By establishing this R&D center, GAC will expand its current operations to focus on vehicle and product development.
GAC has chosen Detroit over Silicon Valley for this expansion and is planning on establishing its headquarters in North America. The placement of this R&D facility in Farmington Hills will have a strong impact on where the company decides to locate its North American headquarters, the news release said.
Governor Snyder met with GAC several times during his trade missions to China. During his 2017 mission, Governor Snyder met with GAC President Feng Xingya and other senior officials to discuss the potential of expanding to Michigan.
Founded in 1997, GAC is the fifth largest auto conglomerate in China. Early this year at the North America International Auto Show held in Detroit, the Chinese automaker announced that it will begin selling vehicles in the United States at the end of 2019.
For the purpose, GAC has accelerated the pace of entering North America market: its R&D center in the Silicon Valley in California has gone into operation in April 2017, and is responsible for advanced technology R&D, design ideas, and product planning. The new R&D center to be opened in the state of Michigan is the second one it has planned.
It is learned that GAC's first vehicle to enter the US market will be the GS8, a mid-size SUV that is already for sale in China.