Chinese manufacturers have taken over much of the overall manufacturing pie from the US, and many components of cars are produced in China. Now, there’s also a booming Chinese car market… in China. These cars, for the most part, haven’t yet hopped over the ocean to the US, but perhaps the time is coming. One potential avenue could be through low-cost electric cars.
BAIC EV, a Chinese electric car manufacturer, may have such a plan on the books, as it has just opened an R&D center in Detroit, home of the US auto industry. This is the company’s second such center in the US, and its purposes are to “help the company evaluate overseas market demand, obtain core EV technology, build on brand influence, and eventually provide support for their international layout.”
While BAIC EV may not be as common a name as BYD here in the US, the company claims to have “the biggest share in China’s EV market.” That must be total sales, as it had only ~20,000 sales in 2015, while BYD sold nearly 60,000.
“BAIC EV’s new R&D center provides an independent research base as well as an integration platform and optimal resources for in-depth development. BAIC EV will strive to reach the core of the automobile and IT industries while working to become a world-class EV brand and maintaining its leading status in China,” the press release adds.
BAIC EV’s other US R&D center is, logically, in Silicon Valley (opened toward the end of 2015). The company also has one in Aachen, Germany. The three centers will reportedly work together quite closely.
“The strategic vision of BAIC EV is set not only on China, but also on the international stage of EVs,” Zheng Gang, general manager of BAIC EV, says.
h/t Mike Millikan