Great Wall Motor Co., China’s largest light-truck maker, is partnering with Swedish supplier Autoliv Inc. to help research road safety in North America and prep its vehicles for the key market.
Under an agreement signed last month with Autoliv, one of the world’s top airbag and seatbelt makers, the two companies will establish a North America road safety research lab in the north China city of Baoding, Great Wall said.
“We expect to see timely and efficient research outcomes from this lab which will help Great Wall Motor with its safety systems strategies for the North American market,” Autoliv’s China engineering chief, Fabien Dumont, said in a statement.
Great Wall opened a plant in Russia in June. It is also seeking to establish a presence in North American and European markets.
In 2017, the Chinese company opened a tech center in Farmington Hills, Mich.
At the Frankfurt auto show last month, Great Wall founder and Chairman Wei Jianjun said the company plans to distribute vehicles under its premium Wey brand in Europe in two years.
The company hasn’t released a schedule to enter the North American market.
Great Wall, based in Baoding, is the largest crossover maker and No. 1 pickup manufacturer in China.
In the first eight months of the year, it delivered 624,094 vehicles in and outside China, an increase of 5.8 percent from a year earlier. Great Wall is the only major Chinese light-vehicle maker to post higher sales this year.
Autoliv ranks No. 29 on Automotive News' list of the top 100 global suppliers, with worldwide sales to automakers of $8.68 billion in 2018.