Chinese Auto Giant SAIC Opens Operations in Michigan


BIRMINGHAM — Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation USA, Inc. recently unveiled their new North American Operations Center in Birmingham, Mich., marking an important step in creating a stronger connection between the U.S. and Chinese automotive industries. With the increasing importance of cooperation between the major global automotive markets, this move by SAIC to strengthen its U.S. presence is significant.

The landmark inauguration ceremony held on Tuesday, June 12, was attended by senior executives from General Motors, SAIC Motor in Shanghai, and major automotive suppliers and partners from the U.S. and China. Gov. Rick Snyder and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson also attended. The traditional exchange of gifts between leaders of SAIC Motor and Michigan officials was symbolic of the growing relationship between Shanghai and the state of Michigan.

The totally refurbished, 30,000 square foot, three story SAIC USA Building in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham will eventually house nearly 100 people and will focus on three main areas of SAIC USA's automotive business: purchasing, logistics, and technology and engineering.

SAIC USA parent company, Shanghai-based SAIC Motor, is the largest automotive manufacturer in China. Major vehicle companies under SAIC Motor include Shanghai GM, Shanghai VW, SAIC Motor Commercial Vehicle Company, SAIC-GM Wuling Automobile Co. and many others. In total, SAIC Motor sold over 4 million vehicles in 2011 in the China market alone.

SAIC USA's decision to expand its Operation Center in Michigan was based on a number of critical factors, including access to a highly trained work force, proximity to key global automotive partners – especially General Motors – proximity to world-class automotive parts suppliers, and the favorable business environment in Michigan.

Cooperation between U.S. and Chinese automotive companies is increasingly important in the new global automotive marketplace. According to SAIC Motor Chairman Maoyuan Hu, who attended the inauguration ceremony, "It is clear to see SAIC's determination to deeply cooperate with U.S. businesses and SAIC will continue to promote the development of exchanges with partners in the US.”

Hu believes that SAIC USA will enhance the operation of localization in the recruitment of professional, technical, and management personnel, and actively expand economic and trade activities.

According to Gov. Rick Snyder, "The company's commitment to Michigan cements our standing as the automotive capital of North America and is a testament to the bold reforms we have made to improve our business climate, encourage new investment and growth, and create more and better jobs."

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