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SAIC Design opens Advanced Design Studio in Central London

20th September 2018

SAIC Motor, ranked 35th in the Global Fortune 500 and 7th largest automotive company, has today (19th September 2018), opened its Advanced London Design Studio (Advanced London), based in a newly-renovated building in the heart of London on the Marylebone Road.

The ground-breaking new creative space is the first SAIC Motor studio in the world to specialise in Advanced Digital Design Technology, and will work in conjunction with the automotive manufacturer’s other studios to support future product designs for brands including MG and Roewe. Advanced London is the second SAIC Motor design studio to be established in Europe, following Birmingham which was opened in 2011. The London Design Studio will focus more on advanced design research projects and creative exploration of conceptual ideas.

Commenting on the launch, Design VP of SAIC Motor Technical Centre and Global Design Director, Mr. Shao Jingfeng, said: “We are really excited to have this new Design Studio in the heart of London opening today. The team is already taking advantage of the cutting-edge creative environment. Design is a huge element of the SAIC Motor vision, as we continue to explore the possibilities of the rapidly evolving automotive sector across the globe. The new Advanced London studio will allow us to focus on concept studies and pre-concepts for future production projects.

“We are also investing in new technologies as part of our design process, and have recently introduced advanced VR technology into our studios around the globe. This allows our designers to 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. Using state-of-the-art functions such as this will allow Advanced London to explore innovative design concepts, broadening design possibilities.”

London was chosen by SAIC Motor for the next stage in its continued expansion, due to the city’s internationally established design culture, an outstanding fashion scene and a host of institutions working at the forefront of innovation. The capital also attracts many of the best creative talents from around the globe, with SAIC Motor aiming to help them develop their skills and harness new ways of thinking.

The opening event also saw the conclusion of the European region sixth annual SAIC Design Challenge, in which students studying in Europe were challenged to develop a flagship electric vehicle for the iconic MG Motor brand to meet 2025 transport requirements. The top three finalists will now progress to the next stage, with a scale model to be presented at a grand final ceremony held at SAIC Design headquarters in Shanghai this October.

Advanced London is managed by SAIC Design European Advanced Design Director, Carl Gotham, who directly reports to Mr Shao Jingfeng. A firm believer in pushing the design envelope and offering opportunities to some of the brightest young talents in the industry, Mr. Gotham commented: “Over the past six years we have formed strong relationships with many pioneering institutions, and the opening of Advanced London will help us further our commitment to growing talent by placing us firmly in the heart of one of the globe’s design destinations.

“Our annual SAIC Design Challenge will be the first output of Advanced London, bringing together some of the keenest young minds in the European design sector, with concepts being put forward that can only come from people looking at the industry with a fresh perspective. Advanced London, alongside our Birmingham studio, is ideally positioned to help provide an environment to explore new concepts and help drive the brand forward, maintaining the same talent training system as SAIC Design China headquarters. We will continue to search for the best creative talent, and we hope that, through the internationalised platform built by SAIC, the designers will flourish and grow within the design industry. Creative energy, high potential, ambition and dreams will encourage them to become future design industry stars.”

Over the next two years, it is expected that the team in London will grow to a few dozen creative designers from all over the world, working on projects that will help shape the product line-ups of SAIC Motor’s brands across the globe, working and operating in conjunction with SAIC Birmingham’s advanced studio. The Birmingham studio is also being rebranded to SAIC Design Advanced Birmingham ensuring the two European sites work in tandem with each other, collaborating with the best designers across the region.

In the UK, SAIC Advanced London’s influence will be seen best within MG Motor UK. Under SAIC Motor’s guidance, MG Motor UK continues to go from strength-to-strength, announcing record car sales in 2018. The August sales results, taken from the latest SMMT market report, show that MG has achieved an impressive 5,685 new car registrations so far this year, more than 1,000 units higher than it achieved in the whole of 2017. This success comes on the back of last year’s launch of MG ZS compact-SUV and more recently, New MG3.