Sunday, 20 June 2010

Chinese Car Company Sets up in Nottingham.

By Ben Aulakh

One of China’s leading car-makers look set to create close to 200 new jobs in the East Midlands.

Changan Automobile Co Limited is setting up a Research and Development Centre in Nottingham over the next three years.

The new centre will be based at the No. 1 Nottingham Science Park, University Boulevard in the city.

The science park – owned and operated by specialist developer – Blueprint is a low energy technology and research facility and already home to a number of hi-tech low-carbon and ICT companies.

Mr XU Liuping, Chairman of the Board for Changan Automobile, said: “Setting up our own R&D centres overseas, including in the UK, is a vital stepping stone for us use global resources to enter the league of world-leading car makers.”

The company currently makes 2.5 million cars each year; it’s hoped the new facility will help Changan to work with British firms in automotive research and development.

Changan’s sales have been increasing by around 30per cent year on year, and its production and sales between January and April in 2010 ranked second in China.

The company currently makes cars at nine different sites and 21 vehicle factories in China, in 2009 the firm had a turnover of around £6 billion.

Bryan Jackson, Chairman of East Midlands development Agency – which helped bring Changan to the area – said, “This announcement is fantastic news for the region.

 “They have chosen to locate here because of the research expertise of our universities, the reputation of the world class automotive engineering firms and the high quality workforce.”

The business has ambitions to break into the global top ten motor manufacturers, and the establishment of the R&D centre in Nottingham is a vital part of this plan.

The centre in Nottingham, which will be open before the end of the year, will focus on power-train and transmission technologies as well as investigation into “new energy” electric and hybrid vehicles.

They plan to establish a facility that initially employs 25 to 30 employees and they plan to expand up to 200 employees by the end of 2013.

Nottingham based Transmission technology business, Romax, is already working with Changan and will be playing a key role in helping to establish the new centre.

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