BIRMINGHAM — Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp. USA Inc. has opened a new North American Operations Center in Birmingham. The company called the opening an important step in creating a stronger connection between the United States and Chinese automotive industries.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson attended the opening ceremony, as did senior executives from General Motors, SAIC Motor in Shanghai, and major automotive suppliers.

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The remodeled 30,000-square-foot, three-story SAIC USA Building in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham will eventually house nearly 100 people. It will focus on three main areas of SAIC USA’s automotive business:
* Purchasing: Sourcing and purchasing of automotive parts, materials and components working with almost 150 different North American suppliers.
* Logistics: The export and import of automotive parts and components.
* Technology and Engineering: Design, engineering and quality control for development and production of vehicle parts and components.

SAIC USA parent company, Shanghai, China-based SAIC Motor, is the largest automotive manufacturer in China. Major vehicle companies under SAIC Motor include Shanghai GM, Shanghai VW, SAIC Motor Commercial Vehicle Co., SAIC-GM Wuling Automobile Co. and many others. In total SAIC Motor sold over 4 million vehicles in 2011 in the China market alone.

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SAIC USA’s decision to expand its Operations Center in Michigan was based on a number of critical factors, including access to a highly trained work force, proximity to key global automotive partners — especially GM — proximity to world-class automotive parts suppliers and the favorable business environment in Michigan.

“It is clear to see SAIC’s determination to deeply cooperate with U.S. businesses and SAIC will continue to promote the development of exchanges with partners in the U.S.,” said Maoyuan Hu, SAIC Motor chiarman. “I believe SAIC USA will enhance the operation of localization in the recruitment of professional, technical and management personnel and actively expand economic and trade activities. I believe SAIC USA will continue to work as a bridge and link between SAIC Motor and the U.S. auto industry. Further, we expect SAIC USA will continue healthy growth in this market and this will be a new chapter of mutually beneficial cooperation for China and the U.S., with the support of both countries.”

In his comments at the inauguration ceremony, Governor Rick Snyder said, “Michigan is proud to be home to SAIC USA, the North American operations of SAIC Motor, and we are thrilled that the company is expanding its global presence here. The company’s commitment to Michigan cements our standing as the automotive capital of North America and is a testament to the bold reforms we have made to improve our business climate, encourage new investment and growth, and create more and better jobs.”

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