Chinese OEM GAC Group opens European R&D centre
Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) continues its strategy of globalisation with the opening of its first R&D centre in Europe. The centre in Milan, Italy, aims to pool leading industry resources worldwide, including leading suppliers and R&D institutions. In doing so, the Chinese automaker aims to form an ecosystem of global excellence that will strengthen the company’s overall innovation and design capabilities.
The Milan site will play a crucial role in the implementation of the company’s R&D programme abroad, according to GAC management. In line with the long-term strategic move of “design first, everything else after”, the team plans to prioritise future research on concept car design and pre-production models, and explore the field of new technologies at a later stage.
Zhang Fan, Vice President of GAC’s R&D Centre, said, “Design is one of the most important values for GAC Group and an important decision-making factor for customers in today’s market. We chose the city of Milan as our first European design centre for its strong cultural and creative identity, combining ideas on movement and innovation and the legacy of style and design.”
Stephane Janin, Director of GAC Advanced Design Europe, will oversee the operations of the new Milan site. Janin is known as the “master of concept cars” in the design industry and was formerly the head of department for concept cars at Renault. Janin will lead a team of “Made in Europe” talent, joined by members of GAC’s design studios in China and the US. Together they will play an active role in Milan’s creative community and promote the exchange of innovative ideas and practices on a global scale.
With the support of the new team, GAC Motor hopes to tap into Europe’s mature culture and talent, as well as the region’s extensive manufacturing experience, R&D network and advanced design mentality.
The automaker exported a total of 23,544 units between January and September 2022, an increase of 84% year-on-year. Since entering international markets, GAC MOTOR has built a network of overseas distribution systems in more than 28 countries and regions.