China's Dongfeng Motor Corporation has opened a research and development center in¬†Trollh√§ttan, Sweden. ¬†This marks a milestone in the state-owned company's history because it is its first overseas facility.
To save the time and money involved with building a R&D center from the ground up, Dongfeng purchased a 70 percent stake in T Engineering AB, a firm that operated under Saab until the company went under almost a year ago. ¬†T Engineer has 32 employees that work on internal combustion engines, hybrid drivetrains, chassis and transmission control systems and electric motors. ¬†In the future, it will expand into fields such as electrical architecture and mechanical integration.
The Sweden-based R&D center will provide technical support to Dongfeng's Chinese operations and enable it to gain a foothold in Europe. ¬†T Engineering retain its independence and be free to work on projects with other manufacturers, however.
Dongfeng explained in a statement that the Swedish research and development center is just the beginning of its ambitious expansion plans. ¬†After it purchases the remaining 30 percent of T Engineering, the automaker will start building a larger international center staffed with European designers and engineers. ¬†When and where construction will take place was not mentioned.