SMTC UK today gave the world's media a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the new vehicle development process when it proudly opened its new state of the art European Design Studio. The new studio, in tandem with a similar facility based in Shanghai, China will be responsible for the design of all future MG and Roewe vehicles for SAIC Motor.
The new studio uses a combination of cutting-edge 3D virtualisation technologies and traditional clay modelling techniques to help designers and engineers realise new product designs in the quickest possible time.
Dave Lindley, president of SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre, said: “This is an important landmark not only for the West Midlands, but for the automotive industry world-wide.
“This investment by SAIC is a clear commitment to retaining and developing our UK workforce. Not only have we created some 300 hi-tech, high-value jobs, but we have invested £20 million in R&D companies throughout the supply chain in the UK and Europe.”
He said SAIC had invested £2.5 million in the engineering complex alone.
“There are 210 engineers based in this office and we have 30 ex-pat engineers located in China," he said.
"There is a steady flow of Chinese engineers who come to work in this office. In my view, the reason we are here after five years and why we will be here in five years’ time is that we are part of the Chinese business and we are very much fully integrated into that business. We are relying 100 per cent on being integrated into that team.”
Dr Richard Hutchins, deputy chief executive of Advantage West Midlands, which has backed SAIC with £2 million of investment, said: “It is great to be at the historic Longbridge site on such a positive occasion. Everyone is eager to see the first MG6s rolling off the production line.
“Longbridge now has one of the UK’s leading research and development centres and its launch moves the company into the fast lane of hi-tech car development.”