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China's Dongfeng Motor Corp has established its first overseas research and development center after buying a 70 percent stake in a Swedish engineering firm, Chinese newspaper New Express reported.
Sweden's T Engineering AB, formerly a unit of bankrupt car manufacturer Saab Automobile AB, has 32 employees researching technologies related to internal combustion engines, hybrid vehicles, electric cars, and chassis control systems, among other areas.
As Dongfeng Motor's first overseas R&D center, it is expected to provide technical support to the company's passenger and commercial vehicle business.
Thanks to Saab's rich experience in developing automotive software and electronics products, T Engineering's business may expand to electronic architecture in the future.
Dongfeng also plans to recruit more European technicians to boost the center's research capabilities.
China's auto market is still growing amid the global economic downturn, but domestic brands' independent research and development abilities are considered relatively weak.
Chinese auto companies are trying to boost their research capabilities through overseas acquisitions, a cost-effective way to catch up with global leading technologies.
Changan Auto was one of the first Chinese auto companies to look abroad. So far, the company has set up overseas R&D departments in Japan, Italy and the United Kingdom.