Volvo, which is owned by China's Geely, said in a press release the two carmakers will use the architecture and a set of components for future C-segment cars of both brands. The center, which will have about 200 employees, will be run by Mats Faegerhag, vice president product strategy at Volvo Cars.
Geely Chairman Li Shufu said in a press release that he wants to improve the competitiveness of both brands by boosting product quality. He added that sharing of knowledge and technologies between the two brands should be accomplished while maintaining brand integrity and separate product development.
"We believe a stand-alone, yet joint R&D Centre with a focused approach is the best way to achieve this," Li said.
The chairman added that the cross-brand modular strategy will aim to deliver an architecture that is suitable for Volvo's premium cars as well as for Geely's models, which are mostly positioned in the volume car segments.
For Volvo, this means the brand will be in full control of the development of its next-generation C-segment models. "We will not have to compromise in a way that is inevitable when partnering with an external OEM," said Peter Mertens, Volvo's senior vice president r&d.