New R&D Centre supporting Volvo Cars at the heart of the Lindholmen Science Park

Geely Holding, the owner of Volvo Cars and Geely are establishing a new Research and Development Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Centre will develop a new modular architecture and set of components for future C-segment cars, addressing the needs of both Volvo Cars and Geely. The Centre will be run by Mats Fägerhag, currently Vice President at Product Strategy within Volvo Cars, and leverage on the Volvo technology leadership within Geely Holding.

The new R&D Centre will be run as an independent company but with clear focus on the future development of Volvo Cars and Geely products. Some 200 full-time employees from both Sweden and China, all high-class engineers in their field, will work on tomorrow’s solutions to secure the leading position of Geely Holding on the global automotive market. The overall ambition is to increase the competitiveness of the company’s brands.

The Volvo tradition
The long and prominent tradition of both quality and safety that Volvo Cars as a brand is associated with will highly influence the activities at the new research centre, which is located near the Chalmers University of Technology and at the heart of the Lindholmen Science Park.
Majority owner and Chairman Li Shufu, Geely Holding, has previously underlined that “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”.
By locating the centre to the Lindholmen Science Park the owners are allowing for access to the extensive automotive competence that is already established in the region. Recruitments of engineers are ongoing and the centre will be fully operational towards the end of this year.

Benefits for both brands
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 realisation of significant economies of scale.
Mats Fägerhag, CEO of the new R&D Centre, made a comment in a press release published on the Volvo Cars website in February: “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 basic modular architecture is similar for both Volvo Cars and Geely, but Volvo Cars will still be in full control of the development of the next generation C-segment cars.


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Näringsliv 2013-2

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