China’s largest automaker has opened a new outpost in the Motor City’s suburbs. TheDetroitBureau.com reports that Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation USA Inc (SAIC) located in metro Detroit to build closer ties with one of its principal partners, General Motors (GM), as well as some of the other North American automakers and suppliers.
SAIC USA Inc. expects to have 100 employees in its new 30,000-square-foot operations center in the Motor City at 322 N. Old Woodward, Birmingham, MI. What that means in the long-term, especially with the Chinese expected to eventually target the American market, remains an unanswered question according to the blog.
Cooperation between U.S. and Chinese automotive companies is increasingly important in the new global automotive marketplace, SAIC Motor Chairman Maoyuan Hu said in a statement. The article reports that Maoyuan said, “…the opening of the new North American Operations Center in Birmingham marks an important step in creating a stronger ties between the US and Chinese automotive industries. With the increasing importance of cooperation between the major global automotive markets, this move by SAIC to strengthen its US presence is significant.”
“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,” Maoyuan said.
The blog saya 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. The CEO of China’s largest automaker said, “… 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.”
The Michigan SAIC USA facility will focus on three main areas of SAIC USA’s automotive business, including purchasing, logistics and technology and engineering.
SAIC USA parent company, Shanghai, China based SAIC Motor, is the largest automotive manufacturer in that booming country. It is also GM’s principal partner in China, involved in a variety of joint ventures, including the original Buick assembly plant in Shanghai. Among its various operations are Shanghai GM, Shanghai VW, SAIC Motor Commercial Vehicle Company, SAIC-GM Wuling Automobile Co. In total SAIC Motor sold over 4 million vehicles in 2011 in the China market alone.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said, “The company’s commitment to Michigan cements our standing as the automotive capital of North America.”
Most analysts eventually expect a Chinese presence in the US. Whether SAIC would come to the U.S. with product of its own remains to be seen, though that’s a possibility the maker isn’t ready to discuss right now.
GM makes about $1 billion a year in China so it is little wonder SAIC moved in to the Detroit Area. The move should also help stabilize the Detroit job market which has been up and down lately.