BEIJING -- General Motors' engineering operation in China will expand substantially.
GM said it will invest an additional $250 million in the operations, called the Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center, or PATAC, in Shanghai. It is a 50-50 joint venture of GM and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.
The companies will build a proving ground; China's first virtual-reality design studio; a noise, vibration and harshness lab; and a kinematics lab.
The proving ground, scheduled to be finished in two years, will have a straightaway, ride-and-handling track, dynamics pad, high-speed bowl and durability-testing road.
At GM, only the Milford Proving Ground in Michigan will be equal to the new PATAC testing operation.
GM also is sharing technology with PATAC.
The center will maintain the demonstration fuel cell vehicle that GM said it would build with Shanghai Automotive.
PATAC also is likely to have a role in developing the hybrid bus that GM is building with Shanghai Automotive.
GM says Pan-Asia's work force is expected to grow to 900 by 2005 and 1,200 by 2010.
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