Roewe 550 was defined to be a smaller sister to Roewe 750 and the next most important product in the planned sequence of new Roewe product introductions. The concept creation commenced in 2005 in Leamington Spa for a fully EU compliant product. The design and engineering of Roewe 550 was the responsibility of the UK team for the first two years of the programme. Style development was carried out in an Italian Design House under UK design leadership to ensure integration with the engineering team back in the UK. During the programme the Shanghai technical team increasingly became involved so that from the 18 month point the process of engaging with Chinese suppliers could commence.
UK engineers followed the transfer of the engineering responsibility into China, and worked substantially alongside the growing number of Chinese colleagues in the Shanghai Technical Centre as the vehicle went into production in 2008.