Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation USA, Inc. (SAIC USA) recently unveiled its new North American Operations Center in Birmingham, Mich., in what the company called an important step in creating a stronger connection between the U.S. 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.
Reflecting the importance of this event, the inauguration ceremony held on Tuesday, June 12, was attended by senior executives from General Motors, SAIC Motor in Shanghai, major automotive suppliers and partners from the U.S. and China, as well as the Governor of Michigan Rick Snyder and Oakland (MI) County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.
The totally refurbished 30,000-square-foot, three story SAIC USA building in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham will eventually house nearly 100 people and will focus on three main areas of SAIC USA's automotive business:
* Purchasing - sourcing and purchasing of automotive parts, materials and components working with almost 150 different North American suppliers.
* Logistics - the export and import of automotive parts and components.
* Technology and Engineering - design, engineering and quality control for development and production of vehicle parts and components.
SAIC USA parent company, Shanghai, China-based SAIC Motor, is the largest automotive manufacturer in China. Major vehicle companies under SAIC Motor include Shanghai GM, Shanghai VW, SAIC Motor Commercial Vehicle Company, SAIC-GM Wuling Automobile Co. and many others. In all, SAIC Motor sold more than 4 million vehicles in 2011 in the China market alone.
SAIC said its 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.