GAC plans new research facility in Michigan
Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group is building a new research and development facility in the Detroit Three’s backyard.
GAC is investing more than $4.4 million in the facility in Farmington Hills, expanding its current operation to focus on vehicle and product development, according to a statement released Friday by the State of Michigan. The move will create 62 jobs.
The Chinese automaker came to the Detroit auto show earlier this year with an ambitious plan to enter the rich U.S. market in the fourth quarter of 2019. And it’s coming with a big seven-seater designed to resonate with the SUV-hungry American buyer. The GAC GS8, which the company sells in China under the domestic Trumpchi brand, appeared on the floor at Cobo Center in January.
“Going global is an inevitable path for GAC Group,” Feng Xingya, president of GAC Group and chairman of GAC Motor, said through an interpreter at the North American International Auto Show. “Our strategic goal is to become a world-class Chinese brand. We believe the U.S. and Chinese markets are critical. If we can make it in the U.S. we can make it anywhere.”
In the meantime, GAC is searching for a place to locate its North American headquarters, and the placement of this new R&D facility in Farmington Hills will have a “strong impact” on that decision, according to the statement.
Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement that the investment “is the product of continued friendships and working relationships with foreign investors that have led to more jobs for Michiganders.” He says he looks forward to working with GAC on future growth.
Snyder has met with GAC during several trade missions to China, including his 2017 visit.
The Associated Press contributed to this report