BAIC is one of China largest auto manufacturers. The initials stand for Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company. Like most large manufacturers in China, it is partially owned by the government. The company has just announced it will open a second US research and development center in Detroit. The first is in California’s Silicon Valley. There is a third in Aachen, Germany. The Detroit facility will help the company evaluate overseas market demand, obtain core EV technology, build on brand influence, and eventually provide support for the sale of BAIC cars internationally. according to Electric Cars Report.
BAIC is working on an innovative electronics system called i-link™ Intelligent & Connected System. It uses 4G technology to connect the digital systems in its automobiles with the digital cloud. It features voice recognition and a fully featured infotainment system for the large central digital display in its cars. The system provides drivers with information on how to drive in the most environmentally friendly way. It also supports wireless charging for digital devices and the integration of emergency reaction systems with cloud based resources.
The Detroit center will work with the California and German centers to assess developing digital systems in preparation for bringing BAIC cars to market worldwide. It will focus on battery, motor, and vehicle development and design, as well as develop advanced technologies in motor drives, power electronics and intelligent controls.
Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of Chinese cars. A few years ago, YouTube was filled with scary videos of Chinese cars folding up like cardboard boxes during crash testing. But the learning curve today is rapid. Cadillac and Buick will both import cars manufactured in China in 2016. At first, the number of cars sold in they US will be a trickle — just as the number of Japanese cars sold in America began with only a few hundred cars in the 1950’s.
Soon, however, that trickle will become a flood. Chinese company BYD already has cars on the road in America. While most of those are used in taxi service or for on-demand service by Uber, they are helping BYD learn what American drivers expect. It plans on building an American factory in the near future. The Sinofication of the US automobile market has begun.