BMW Opens New R&D Centre in Shanghai
BMW has officially opened a new R&D facility in Shanghai as part of plans to rapidly expand its car design capabilities in China.
Following the opening of the Beijing R&D Centre earlier in May of this year, the new Shanghai R&D Centre marks another milestone for the German manufacturer’s so-called “In China, for China” R&D strategy.
“The Shanghai R&D Centre will focus on autonomous driving, digital services and futuristic design, and will expand collaboration with leading high-tech companies. With its team of experienced and talented professionals, the Shanghai R&D Centre will bring more and more innovative technologies to Chinese customers,” says Jochen Goller, boss of BMW’s China division.
It is being claimed the new R&D team is made up of over 200 technical specialists and designers, of which over 90% are Chinese. And they are said to come from diverse scientific backgrounds: big data, robotics, AI, human machine interface, mechanical engineering, business model development and economics.
Located on the Puxi side of the city, and covering covering over 2,500 m2, the Shanghai R&D Centre will initially be comprised of four departments: Technology Office China; Digital Products & Services and Digitalization Customer Interface; Connected and Automated Driving Lab; and Designworks Shanghai Studio.
The latter, which forms part of the company’s global industrial design arm, has also undergone an expansion this past month, as the studio is said to have experienced “significant” growth across a variety of industries, including consumer electronics, home appliances, aviation, and rail.
“China remains a key market for the BMW Group and Designworks, and continues to grow in importance. The region provides a unique platform for design inspiration; from its rapid speed of change, advancements in technology and digitisation, as well as its overarching spirit of optimism,” says the company’s design chief, Adrian van Hooydonk. “By building first-hand experience and understanding of this marketplace, it allows us to create strong and highly relevant solutions for our Chinese customers, as well as giving us the opportunity to infuse this knowledge back into our teams and projects across the world.”
The global BMW R&D network currently encompasses 13 cities in five countries, namely, Germany, USA, Japan, South Korea and China. The latter has the largest R&D network in the BMW Group outside of Germany.