Geely and Volvo signed a deal to jointly build a R&D centre in Gothenburg, representing one of the biggest co-operations between the two companies.
The R&D center will have 200 employees, more than half being of Chinese nationality, and will develop parts and platforms for Volvo and Geely compact cars, ending Volvo’s search for a partner in the C-segment of small vehicles.
“The sharing of knowledge and technology has to be done without jeopardizing brand integrity and individual product development. High quality global journalism requires investment. We believe a standalone, yet joint R&D centre with a focused approach is the best way to achieve this,” said Li Shufu, chairman and majority owner of Geely, the Chinese carmaker.
As Volvo has been trying to free itself from its former owner, Ford, it has managed to find a partner to develop a platform for its larger models, and now a partner for its smaller vehicles too. Geely will develop with Volvo a modular architecture for small vehicles, so that the Swedish automaker would be able to maintain its independence.
“We feel that we have our destiny in our own hands. Volvo plays the leading role. Volvo doesn’t have to compromise in any way on its requirements and we believe that would have been the case if we had had to work with external partners,” said Peter Mertens, head of R&D at Volvo.