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16th of January 2018

Automotive



Great Wall unit to open r&d center near Detroit

DETROIT -- American Haval Motor Technology LLC plans to spend $3.51 million building an r&d center in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills, Mich.

The unit of Chinese SUV and pickup manufacturer Great Wall Motor Co. plans to hire 150 over the next five years to staff the facility, according to a Michigan Economic Development Corp. memo and Michael Gietzen, senior business development project manager.

Hiring is expected to start in January.

Great Wall last summer expressed interest in acquiring Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Jeep brand, but then backed away from its initial statements. 

Operations at the company's first r&d facility in North America will focus on meeting U.S. environmental and safety rules, according to the state memo.

American Haval plans to lease a 16,000-square-foot building, Gietzen said in an emailed statement. It also intends to delve into autonomous vehicle technology there, the memo said.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. on Tuesday awarded American Haval a $1.5 million performance-based grant through its Michigan Strategic Fund.

Haval is one of Great Wall's brands and focuses on SUVs. Its only other U.S. presence is a small marketing office in California.

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