Volvo and its owner Geely have announced they are to joint-build a brand new research and development centre in the former’s home city of Gothenburg, Sweden; the new project is set to be the biggest co-operations to this day between the two companies.
The new R&D centre will open the door to 200 new jobs, with the purpose of developing a shared platform and parts for compact cars that both Volvo and its Chinese owner will profit from. The vehicles that will hopefully follow will be able to rival those in the so-called C-segment of small family cars that includes the Mercedes A-Class and the Audi A3.
Geely believe they can learn a lot about the industry from Volvo and are looking to develop new products with the Swedish manufacturer’s guidance, whilst to sticking to their own goals in the process.
Li Shufu, chairman and majority owner of the Chinese carmaker, 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 jeopardising brand integrity and individual product development.
“We believe a standalone, yet joint R&D centre with a focused approach is the best way to achieve this.”
Geely have been owners of Volvo for the last three years since buying the manufacturer from Ford in 2010 and the last year has seen the Swedish firm reaffirm its position in the market for quality, practical cars. The new Volvo V40 Cross Country is latest in the line of restyling the brand and offering something of similar class to that of its rivals.
The Cross Country offers a little more to the usual 5-door hatchback with a more ‘off-road’ approach to the model that will effectively look to replace the S40 and V50, as well as having the potential to be Volvo’s most important new vehicle for years.
Quotes from The Financial Times.