Automaker SAIC in China – currently launching the Roewe 750 update of defunct Rover‘s 75 – is ready to take control of Ricardo 2010 Consultants, a subsidiary set up by Ricardo to conduct engineering work for SAIC.

Ricardo 2010 Consultants was formed in 2005 to act as the overseas engineering centre of SAIC Motor that would assist the Chinese automaker to develop its own in-house new product R&D capability.  It was intended from the start that if the new company was successful, it was would eventually be transferred at a nominal sum of GBP1 to the Chinese group as a going concern. 

According to Ricardo, the China offshoot has been “enormously successful”, and has included the launch of the first vehicles under the new Roewe brand, the recently announced start of manufacture of the (also Rover-designed) KV6 engine in China, and the ongoing development of a completely new family of Roewe brand products. The transferred business will continue both to be based at offices at the Ricardo Midlands technical centre and to have strong operational links with Ricardo UK.

“This is an extremely positive outcome for Ricardo 2010 Consultants and its employees as well as for Ricardo and SAIC Motor Company,” said Ricardo CEO, Dave Shemmans. “Ricardo established this business as a means of creating a world-class automotive product development capability for SAIC and the exercise of the option to acquire the business demonstrates our success in this endeavour. We look forward to a continued close and mutually beneficial relationship with SAIC Motor both on the existing programmes on which we are already collaborating as well as on future products.”

The transfer of ownership of Ricardo 2010 Consultants will have no commercial impact for Ricardo in the financial year ending 30 June, 2007.