The U.S. unit of Chinese automaker SAIC Motor recently unveiled its new North American Operations Center in Birmingham, MI. The refurbished 30,000-ft² (2800-m²) building eventually will house 100 people focusing on three main tasks:
• Purchasing—sourcing and purchasing of automotive parts, materials, and components working with almost 150 different North American suppliers
• Logistics—export and import of automotive parts and components
• Technology/engineering—design, engineering and, quality control for development and production of vehicle parts and components.
SAIC USA says its decision to expand the operations center in Michigan was based on a number of critical factors, including access to a highly trained workforce, proximity to key global automotive partners—particularly General Motors—proximity to world-class automotive parts suppliers, and the favorable business environment in Michigan.
SAIC Motor has a large joint venture in China with GM called Shanghai GM. Having sold more than 4 million vehicles, including commercial vehicles and buses, in 2011, SAIC Motor says it is China's largest automaker.
The company has no plans to sell cars in the U.S., a company spokesman told AEI.