Geely Group has announced that the joint R&D Centre of Geely Auto and Volvo Cars in Gothenburg has begun operations following a decision made earlier this year. 

Geely said that the centre will embark on a “focused program developing a modular architecture and components for the next generation leading C-segment cars for both Geely Auto and Volvo Cars”.

Geely said that the new R&D centre is an “important step in consolidating Geely Group's global footprint”. 

Geely maintains that the modular architecture will help achieve synergies through economies of scale and scope in terms of development, testing, and procurement, “without the slightest compromise on brand value”. Volvo Cars will continue to focus on the global premium car market, while Geely Auto will remain focused on the mass market, Geely said.

"The modular architecture is an important springboard for Geely Group's sustainable development globally and benefits the growth of both Volvo Cars and Geely Auto. The architecture will provide Geely Auto with the tools to improve its products and technology significantly. Capital investment in the Centre will help drive Volvo Cars' technological advances. Access to Geely Auto's OEM suppliers in Asia will also be made available to Volvo Cars for procurement optimisation as needed," said An Conghui, President of Geely Group. 

"We have put together outstanding technical and management teams and provided them with first-class working conditions and facilities, to ensure the success of the cross-brand modular architecture strategy."

Mats Fagerhag, CEO of the new R&D centre, commented: "The modular design which allows several different vehicle platforms to be developed from one single architecture has been a proven approach in the industry. This will ensure tailor-made solutions to multiple brands for various market segments. This joint R&D centre with its combined strengths will enhance our competitiveness in technological leadership."

Located in Lindholmen Science Park, Gothenburg, the centre will “take the advantage of industry-specific capabilities and abundant resources available in the region”. The centre has been staffed by existing engineers from Geely Auto and Volvo Cars as well as externally recruited talent to further strengthen the team. 

At present, approximately 70 engineers have started working in the centre, which Geely said it plans to expand to 200 by the second half of 2014.