Car maker starts satellite production

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Volvo-owner Geely Technology Group has started mass production of commercial satellites at a new plant in China.

The first set of low earth orbit (LEO) broadband satellites marks a Geely’s move into the commercial aerospace sector to support high-speed data connectivity, highly precision navigation and cloud computing capabilities in future vehicles. At full capacity, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 500 units.

Geely’s Intelligent Satellite Production and Testing Centre is the first AIT (Assembly, Integration, and Testing) centre for commercial satellites in China. The facility uses Geely’s experience in modular intelligent manufacturing from car making. A joint venture with contract manufacturer Foxconn with expertise in electronics manufacturing was approved earlier in the year.

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The satellite plant integrates smart manufacturing technologies, satellite R&D, core component production, advanced testing and quality control, cloud computing, big data analysis, and modular production to assembly, integrate, and test different types of satellites used for communication, navigation, and remote sensing.

The first mass-produced satellite made at the satellite plant was developed independently by Geely Technology Group subsidiary, Geespace.

“Breaking ground in the midst of an emerging pandemic and 18 months later starting production. With the rapid pace of change in the aerospace industry and the integration of new communication technologies in different sectors such as satellite internet, autonomous driving, and cloud computing, a bright future lies ahead for commercial aerospace,” said Xu Zhihao, CEO of Geely Technology Group.

Geely owns Swedish car brand Volvo and its electric version Polestar and is integrating production of these brands with with global operation and electric brand Lynk & Co. It also owns Lotus and taxi-make London EV in the UK and Proton in Malaysia. Geely has also launched a $10,000 electric SUV.

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