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SAIC opens design studio in London

By Graeme Roberts | 20 September 2018

Another automaker puts a design studio in London

Another automaker puts a design studio in London

SAIC Motor, parent company of the LDV and MG brands and a partner of General Motors and Volkswagen in Chinese joint ventures, has opened its 'Advanced London' design studio in a renovated building.

MG now operates from a new HQ in Marylebone as the automaker, which ended UK final assembly at the former MG Rover plant in Birmingham several years ago, slowly de-emphasises Longbridge where much of the site has been turned into housing, retail, hotel and educational facilities.

The new developments is the first SAIC Motor studio to specialise in advanced digital design technology and will work with other studios on future products for LDV, MG and Roewe. Advanced London is the second SAIC Motor design studio in Europe after the Longbridge site facility opened in 2011.

The London Design Studio will "focus more on advanced design research projects and creative exploration of conceptual ideas", SAIC said in a statement.

SAIC said it had recently introduced VR into its studios so designers can "fully immerse themselves into the design concepts, greatly improving the level of detail at which ideas can be reviewed before they are turned into more costly physical models".

London was chosen due to the city's internationally established design culture (Nissan operates a similar facility in Paddington; Ford's European mobility operations are also in the capital), an outstanding fashion scene and other institutions "working at the forefront of innovation".

Advanced London is managed by SAIC Design European advanced design director, Carl Gotham.

Over the next two years, it is expected that the team in London will grow to a few dozen creative designers. The Birmingham studio is also being rebranded to SAIC Design Advanced Birmingham.

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