Volvo, Geely Get In On Research Center Game As Well

Sections: Chassis

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The Volvo Iron Logo

(Image Courtesy Volvo Cars of Canada.)

We told you how Nissan and its corporate partner, Renault have opened a new, larger research center in Silicon Valley. Now Volvo and Chinese parent company Geely are joining the research center fray.

According to a press release from Volvo, the research and development center will be located on Volvo’s home turf in Gothenburg, Sweden and will develop a new modular architecture and set of components for future C-segment cars– both Volvo- and Geely-branded ones.

Research and Development Center CEO Mats Fägerhag said, “The modular design allows several different vehicle platforms to be developed from one single architecture, thereby ensuring tailor-made solutions for both brands. This will be a showcase for cooperation between a Western world premium car manufacturer and a thriving Chinese automotive company.”

The release said both Volvo and Geely expect to see significant cost savings by developing the common C-segment platform:

The modular architecture and set of components will not only deliver world-class product technologies and attributes, but also considerable cost savings in terms of development, testing and sourcing, leading to the realization of significant economies of scale.

For those worried this may turn into a nightmarish, Swedish- and Chinese-flavored version of the badge engineering that went on at the “Big Three” American automakers in the pre-bailout era, the release quoted Geely Holdings Majority Owner and Chaiman Li Shufu.

“Our group has ambitious goals to increase the competitiveness of our brands,” Li said.

“Geely will continue to improve its product quality in the years to come and can learn from Volvo Cars. However, the sharing of knowledge and technology has to be done without jeopardizing brand integrity and individual product development. We believe a stand-alone, yet joint R&D Centre with a focused approach is the best way to achieve this.”

Volvo said it will continue to develop its own architecture for larger segments in parallel to the joint C-segment effort with its corporate partner.

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