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China Auto Giant GAC to open its innovation center in Silicon Valley, recruiting more talent

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【Summary】The Chinese auto giant Guangzhou Automotive Group(GAC) will open its innovation center in Silicon Valley this year, and plan to invest 15 billion rmb into green energy vehicles and in-house brands.

Original Claire    May 08, 2017 11:25 AM PT
China Auto Giant GAC to open its innovation center in Silicon Valley, recruiting more talent
author: Claire   

The Chinese auto giant Guangzhou Automotive Group (GAC) will open its innovation center in Silicon Valley this year, and plan to invest 15 billion RMB into green energy vehicles and in-house brands.

This past Saturday, GAC group arrived in Silicon Valley, California and held a career fair targeting local professionals and talents in the automotive industry. It plans to recruit 80 people from three career fairs across the United States, and also open its innovation center in Silicon Valley, California.

"The purpose of coming to US this time and holding recruiting events in Silicon Valley, Detroit, and Boston, is to extend our talent base in four areas: the electric vehicle, IoT, green energy, and smart car technology…we know Silicon Valley is the hub for talents and do wish to put international talents into our squad." Zeng Qinghong, Chairman of GAC Group told the Futurecar reporter.

He further mentioned that GAC is planning to transform its self-driving technology through four phases: from auto-piloted system to higher levels of autonomy. Hopefully in 20 years, GAC could attain level 5 full-autonomy in its self-driving vehicles.

Another big move GAC is planning right now, is opening its innovation center in Silicon Valley. The company plans to open its Silicon Valley research & development center within three months, once finished with the construction and talent recruitment phase.

According to Ted S Huang, Chief Technology Officer of GAC Engineering Institute, the new innovation center based in U.S. will mainly serve as a front-end technology center for self-driving, EV's, and connected car technology. The center will also connect with GAC's innovation centers back in China.

"Our ultimate goal is to create a vehicle that can be considered as an intelligent end terminal. The car in the future will not merely be a moving machine, it will be redefined to a smart, interactive and ecological entity that changes our lifestyle." Ted told the Futurecar reporter.

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Guangzhou, GAC Group is a state-owned company with over 70,000 employees. It's the sixth largest automaker in China. Since 2013, has been listed in the Fortune 500 for 4 consecutive years.

In January, 2017, GAC group debuted three vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show, including the GE3 electric hatchback. It is planning to sell Chinese-made cars in U.S. in 2018, and it's still in the process of obtaining certifications for its vehicles and establish a network of dealerships. If the 2018 goal is reached, it could very likely become the first Chinese automakers to sell its cars in U.S.

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