SAIC Motor establishes R&D innovation headquarters

At its inauguration ceremony on March 2, China's leading carmaker SAIC Motor announced the establishment of SAIC Motor R&D Innovation Headquarters with an independent R&D team of more than 10,000 people to expand innovation.

SAIC Motor R&D Innovation Headquarters will bring together the company's superior resources, such as advanced information technologies in software, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, and cyber security, as well as innovation resources from its overseas innovation centers, to help build an innovation system through top-level design of innovation mechanisms, in order to speed up R&D and industrialization of new energy intelligent connected vehicles.

New R&D Headquarters

In June 2021, SAIC Motor released its new vision, mission, values, and logo. The automaker intends to become a high-tech corporation that caters to users. SAIC Motor will improve its core capabilities, such as advanced vehicle and electronic architecture, a software platform for intelligent driving, big data, and cloud computing, in order to develop next-generation intelligent electric cars characterized by "data determines experience and software defines cars", and speed up its transition to a user-oriented high-tech company.

SAIC Motor wants to invest 300 billion yuan ($47.48 billion) in the development of new energy and intelligent connected vehicles during 2021 to 2025 in order to accelerate its transformation and innovation. The SAIC Motor R&D Innovation Headquarters will provide a strong basis for SAIC's future growth.

On the one hand, SAIC Motor and its subsidiaries' innovative businesses and resources will be further integrated through joint efforts, promoting basic and cutting-edge technology R&D and assisting in the solution of challenges in new energy intelligent connected vehicles. On the other hand, the automaker will use innovation to develop more tailored products based on the unique characteristics and requirements of overseas markets, with the goal of pursuing differentiated vehicle R&D and promoting the industrialization of new technologies. SAIC Motor R&D Innovation Headquarters will accelerate the development of a technological design platform by implementing rapid technology iterations and updates, as well as increasing investment in automotive hardware R&D. There will also be efforts to establish a number of R&D branches both at home and overseas.

New Products

SAIC Motor's expansion and long-term development have been propelled by innovation. According to official data, the automaker delivered more than 5.81 million vehicles in 2021, a 5.5 percent increase year-on-year, cementing its position as China's top automaker for the 16th consecutive year. SAIC Motor also announced a double-digit increase in sales of self-branded vehicles, new energy vehicles, and vehicle exports last year, which became the three driving factors for SAIC Motor’s growth, thanks to its efforts in innovation and technology empowerment.

Meanwhile, the automaker has increased its efforts to advance the implementation of cutting-edge technologies. The first L7 Beta version of IM, an electric automobile company founded by SAIC Motor, rolled off the manufacturing line in late 2021, providing consumers with a scenario-based intelligent interactive experience and a "most humanlike" intelligent driving experience. The R7, a pure electric SUV from SAIC Motor, raises the bar for technology and safety in intelligent driving to new heights. Last year, SAIC Mobility Robotaxi, China's first L4 self-driving platform, was put into service in Shanghai and Suzhou. It also founded Utopilot, an intelligent electric vehicle business specializing in L4 intelligent vehicle networking in ports, factories, and logistics firms. Utopilot's self-driving big trucks are now on the road.

New Platform

SAIC Motor's R&D Innovation Headquarters will be run directly by the company and will serve as an integrated platform for technological innovation, team entrepreneurship, and personal development. It is expected to provide a broad platform for individual development as well as contribute to the motor industry's innovative power. Employees will be encouraged to share the advantages of innovative initiatives, and a variety of entrepreneurial mechanisms will be put in place to establish a healthy institutional environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. The R&D Innovation Headquarters stresses advanced research in new energy and intelligent connected vehicles, and explores cooperation opportunities with other players.

It will also assist SAIC Motor in conducting future studies in areas such as new energy, software architecture, and self-driving technology, as well as exploring the new concept of transboundary integration in the future automobile industry, establishing an R&D benchmark for Chinese automobile companies, and contributing more Chinese wisdom to the global automobile industry's long-term development.

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