Over the weekend, General Motors, along with its Chinese domestic partners SAIC and Wuling Motors, broke ground on a new R&D facility and proving ground. Located in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the new facilities will be adjacent to the group’s passenger car production site.
Measuring 376,000 square meters, General Motors notes that the R&D facility will be completed in December 2018 and be built in four phases. Phase I consists of a “noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) lab and environmental simulation lab.” Phase II adds “experimental facilities for parts, materials and structures for electrical devices.” Phase III incorporates “testing facilities for engines, emission systems, safety systems and new energy vehicles.” And phase IV finishes things up with “testing facilities for complete vehicles and a modeling center.”
Meanwhile, General Motors says the group’s 853,000 square meter proving ground will be complete by December 2016 and will help SAIC-GM-Wuling evaluate “chassis performance, dynamic performance, NVH, powertrain performance and corrosion resistance.”
The partnership between the three companies goes back to November 2002. Currently SAIC has a majority stake in the operation at 50.1 percent. General Motors possesses a 44 percent stake, leaving Wuling Motors with a mere 5.9 percent stake in the operation.