• Aug 17, 2010
General Motors has reached an agreement with one of its primary Chinese partners, Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp. (SAIC), on the joint development of powertrains for small vehicles.
GM and SAIC will develop and produce a family of four-cylinder engines ranging from 1.0- to 1.5-liters with direct injection and turbocharging. The GTDI engines should cut fuel consumption by around 20 percent compared to similarly-sized engines with equivalent output.

The engine will be used in GM and SAIC vehicles in China and around the world, and to go along with the new engine, the partners will also develop a small dual-clutch transmission that should provide a 10 percent boost in efficiency over current six-speed torque converter automatics. Work on the engine and transmission will occur at GM's powertrain engineering center in Pontiac, MI and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center in Shanghai.

GM has yet to announced when the new powertrains will debut in production, but mid-2011 is a safe bet.

[Source: General Motors]
Show full PR text
GM and SAIC Motor Announce Powertrain Co-Development

*Partnership is first joint powertrain development between GM and SAIC
*Small-displacement engine targets heart of global market
*New transmission features dual-clutch design

SHANGHAI, China – General Motors Co. and SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. (SAIC Motor) are expanding their partnership to develop a new small-displacement gasoline engine family and an advanced transmission. The agreement, which was signed today in Shanghai by GM Vice Chairman of Global Product Operations Tom Stephens and SAIC President Chen Hong, represents a significant milestone that expands GM and SAIC's relationship into powertrain development. It's another key step in providing propulsion solutions to build the world's best vehicles.

"The co-development of these new engines and transmissions builds on a strong history of innovation and collaboration between GM and SAIC Motor," Stephens said. "Together, we will continue to quickly provide our customers leading-edge technologies that improve vehicle fuel efficiency and deliver robust performance."

The new small gasoline engine, which will be offered in displacements from 1.0 liters to 1.5 liters, hits right at the heart of the global vehicle market. Its compact, lightweight design combines direct injection and turbocharging, providing customers unparalleled fuel efficiency and performance. The engine will be used by GM and SAIC Motor in China and future vehicles worldwide, providing further fuel efficiency advances beyond traditional technologies.

Engineering and development of the new engine will be carried out jointly by GM and SAIC engineers in Detroit and at the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), the automakers' engineering and design joint venture in Shanghai.

The new front-wheel-drive transmission will incorporate the latest innovations for improving fuel economy and performance. The transmission alone will provide upward of 10 percent improvement in fuel economy over today's conventional six-speed automatic transmissions. The co-developed transmission will feature dry, dual-clutch technology. It will provide shift comfort equal to a conventional fully automatic transmission, with superior quality, while reducing CO2 emissions.

When combined, these technologies can provide up to 20 percent improvement in fuel consumption, compared to engines and automatic transmissions in production in China today.
"These development agreements open an exciting new chapter in the partnership between SAIC and GM," said Hu Maoyuan, Chairman of SAIC Motor. "Not only will they add critical green technologies to our next-generation vehicles, they will also build on the strong engineering capabilities forged as a part of GM and SAIC's corporate responsibility."

About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 208,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 157 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corp. on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corp. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

About SAIC Motor: SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. (securities code 600104 SH, "SAIC Motor" for short) is the largest listed vehicle company in the Chinese A-share stock market. In 2009, SAIC Motor sold more than 2.72 million vehicles, continuing its leading position among major automotive groups in China. The main businesses of the corporation include R&D, production and sales of vehicles (including passenger and commercial vehicles) and components (including powertrains, chassis, electronics and electric parts) that are closely related with vehicle development, as well as the automotive finance business.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      It appears that all new technology, platforms, engines for our Government Motors experiment, are coming from Asia and Europe.

      Sad that Government Motors can't see fit to do any engineering and design in the USA.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pretty soon you'll ask yourself, "Why did GM decide to build this thing?"....then you'll learn..."market studies in China showed that Product 2343 scored higher with consumers in the Chinese market. Based on these results this will be the global design adopted by General Motors"


      America - Enjoy buying cars desgined for the Chinese.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh, My god. SAIC is well known as industrial theft company.

      REPORT: Chinese automaker SAIC accused of hybrid tech theft by SsangYong
      http://www.autoblog.com/2009/11/12/report-chinese-automaker-saic-accused-of-hybrid-tech-theft-by-s/

      Govt. Motors (GM) teaching engine technology to SAIC.
      US govt. allowed this?
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM is building huge operation centers in China right now. China does not respect patent law out there either.

        If you can't beat em, join em, i guess!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        That rather silly accusation is more a matter of the Korean government whining than anything else. I mean SAIC bought the damned company so it's not like they sent spies deep undercover to steal blueprints, the Korean government is just annoyed that they wasted a bunch of money on a dying car company then making rather silly laws that somehow let them claim that it's stealing to try to use the tech of a company you own. Far as anybody can tell SAIC hasn't bothered to whatever (probably terrible) hybrid technology SsangYong supposedly had.
        I mean why would you ever bother buying a company if it didn't give you access to something or another? Expecting SAIC to pony up billions to prop up Ssangyong while not being able to use the tech is plain idiotic.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Common, be reasonable, GM needs cash and it needs it fast. Where else can it get it fast and avoid scrutiny.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good news for GM
        • 4 Years Ago
        No it's not. SAIC will steal GMs technology and will sell it as its own. Kind of what most other Chinese companies do.
        • 4 Years Ago
        yes and it only took them 2 years to figure that out
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Hatzenbach - DSG equipped cars have been on the market for 7 years actually.z
      • 4 Years Ago
      Don't know if you noticed, but China is now the 2nd largest economy in the world. Only a matter of time before their auto industry starts to really compete. Seems like GM got on top of that early on. Have you seen their China sales lately?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yup. It was a very smart move to bet big on China. American products over there have a really good reputation.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What I see here is a trend of gradually squeezing out the Japanese auto market out of the equation. Japan has had a closed auto market in which they kept out car imports, and foreign auto manufacturers out of their country. In the end, they will get what they deserve.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice for them, too bad none of them probably won't make it to the States for people here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seems like good news to me. I hold out hope (but not expectation) that these dual-clutch transmissions will be made in the US.

      1 year seems like a short development time for new engines or new transmissions.
        • 4 Years Ago
        How long did it take GM to build their most successful engine (the small-block Chevy)
        • 4 Years Ago
        I guess when a car market is booming and as ultra-competitive as it is in China companies are willing to put more money into R&D.

        I wonder if these new more efficient small displacement engines will find their way into a next-gen Volt seems like it would be a good fit for the car.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, 1 year does seem like a short development time. Even weirder is that they are releasing a 1.4L non-DI turbo powerplant very soon.. umm... seems a little on the redundant side to have a 1.4 and some 1.0-1.5 DI turbo motors coming out all at once.

        ???
        • 4 Years Ago
        If they use Getrag (or other) IP to build a DSG and use their Family 0 Ecotec engines (which happen to be under 1.5L), they already have some proven head starts. Sounds like its more of getting production under way of products they already have prototypes for, given the time frame and the technologies.
      • 4 Years Ago
      China is of course a large market and its nice for GM to be establishing itself there. Especially since selling cars in the US alone just wont cut it anymore, and they are not doing too well in Europe.

      But it seems like American companies are putting Chinese companies on their feet. Building cars isn't rocket science and pretty soon SAIC will have technology, low labor costs, and a huge domestic market. SAIC or some other Chinese company could then become serious competition in China, US, and everywhere else.
      • 4 Years Ago
      GM making the smart move with the worlds largest economy...
      • 4 Years Ago
      "We trusted their (SAIC) promise to help us into the vast Chinese market,” Mr. Yang said. “In the end, they kept none of their promises, and they got what they wanted: our technology.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/world/asia/24seoul.html?pagewanted=2&_r=3&ref=asia
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM has been partnered with SAIC for Shanghai GM for a decade or more.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_GM

        I'm not saying there's no risk there, but there isn't any new risk, because GM is already in bed with them.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ssangyong has a crazy aggressive union that basically doomed the company long before SAIC ever got involved. And as the article points out, the union clashed with SAIC which I'm sure didn't help things-I mean basically these guys have been making SAIC regret buying the damned company since like 2005 but whine about how SAIC didn't keep feeding them billions and billions. Who would after the way the union basically tried to screw with SAIC every step of the way? Any other car company would have cut them loose too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds good.
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