London-based Laird, a global technology firm focused on vehicle connectivity, today opened a new R&D center in Grand Blanc. The new facility will serve Laird’s connected vehicle solutions division, which also operates R&D centers in Germany and China.
“This center of excellence is at the cutting-edge of our crucial design and research work for the automotive industry here and around the globe,” says Tony Quinlan, CEO of Laird. “Our investment in Grand Blanc is evidence that Laird is committed to continue driving the future of connected vehicles in Michigan and across the United States.
Quinlan adds that the facility represents a $14.4-million investment over several years and expects the facility, which currently employs 100 people, to generate more jobs.
One of Laird’s 18 R&D centers worldwide, the new addition features a 43,000-square foot facility on a 14.5-acre site and provides space for a future expansion to design and test new technologies. Features include engineering and design technology, testing labs for quality assurance, and an outdoor testing range. The center replaces a smaller Laird facility in Holly, and all employees were transferred to the Grand Blanc center.
Globally, Laird employs 9,700 people at 48 locations, including 20 engineering and manufacturing facilities, 18 R&D centers, and 10 sales and administrative offices in 19 countries.
“As a leading supplier to the automotive industry, Laird is extremely well-positioned for the new world of increasing connectivity and digitalization that is taking place around the globe,” Quinlan says. “These transformative developments will impact the way we all travel, and benefit consumers here in Michigan and worldwide. And, that is why we are proud to support this region’s reputation as a technology hub serving the American auto industry.”
Laird’s smart antennas and in-vehicle capabilities enable LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and satellite communications, full telematics controls, consumer electronic device integration, over-the-air software updates for vehicles, and in-vehicle data streaming.