SHANGHAI — While it cuts capacity in the United States, General Motors is boosting investment in Asia.
With new research centers and proving grounds, GM is expanding in the booming Asia-Pacific region. The added capacity will give GM more access to cheap engineering talent for the global market, help develop suppliers and serve fast-growing Asian markets.
The most significant investment is in China. GM will build a research center in Shanghai as part of a $250 million corporate campus.
The center will be wholly owned by GM. That distinguishes it from GM's existing design and engineering center in Shanghai, the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., GM's partner in China, owns half of PATAC.
The wholly owned center allows GM "to leverage the Chinese low-cost supply base to do research. But it wants to keep the technology confidential," says a former GM China executive now working as a consultant.
GM says the center will do research on "alternative fuels, advanced energy propulsion systems, and manufacturing and supplier efficiency."