The Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Center in Beijing is rapidly expanding the scope of responsibilities and specialized staff. Beyond the key R&D functions, new roles and responsibilities now include program management as well as procurement and supplier quality management for products made for the local Chinese market.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Research and Development: “With 10 years of local R&D activities, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China is not only an integral part of Daimler group’s research network, but plays a key role in understanding Chinese customer expectations and local requirements. This expertise directly gives us a sustained competitive edge and the competence to develop tailor-made products for the local market. To cater to the importance of the Chinese market, we are steadily expanding and building an intelligent workforce.”
“For Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles, China has become the biggest sales market worldwide,” says Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for China: “We acknowledge this importance and reflect this as well in our R&D activities. As a key element for our sustained growth in China, our R&D Center supports us in fully taping our potential and putting our Chinese customers in the center of our future product development.”
The company first established Research & Development in China in 2006 by localizing production of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Since the opening of the new R&D Center in Beijing in November of 2014, the head count has been increased to currently approximately 500 highly qualified engineers and designers – around 85 percent are Chinese; the remaining 15 percent are experts from many other different countries.
Prof. Dr. Hans Georg Engel, Head of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China: “With our local R&D activities we are already well on track on many lanes, proving our attitude in going that extra mile for our local customers, to deliver products that fit best their needs. The success of our sustained development in China is the result of listening to our customers. We are committed to the long-term perspective in this market.”
Mercedes-Benz R&D Center in Beijing covers core responsibilities in the areas of:
- Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design
- Localization and Development
- Safety and Comfort
- Powertrain and Testing
- Regulatory Affairs and IP
- Connected Car and Mobility Services
- Trends Research, Innovation and Concepts
- Program Management
- Procurement and Supplier Quality Management
The Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Beijing is one of the company’s most modern and comprehensive Design studios worldwide – a local seismograph for design, cultural and mobility trends as well as an integral part of Daimler’s global design network. For instance, experts in the ‘Colour and Trim’ team focus closely on local preferences concerning fabrics or colours used inside the passenger vehicles. To meet Chinese customers’ expectations regarding in-vehicle user systems, such as the ability to enter handwritten Chinese characters or use China-specific internet services, the ‘User Interface Experience’ team implements cutting-edge in-car technologies.
‘Trends Research, Innovation and Concepts’ analyses local customer profiles and tracks developments in Chinese society and translates them into intelligent product solutions and concepts. The spectrum of the China-specific product features is expanding constantly. It also includes, for example, ergonomics, storage concepts and user interface.
In the mind-set of Chinese customers, the ‘connected car’ plays an important role. In acknowledging this demand, R&D China is further expanding its activities in this field, utilizing China’s innovation power and working closely with suitable local partners. Another step into the automotive future are the activities in the domain of autonomous driving – ensuring that Mercedes-Benz vehicles feel at home on Chinese streets and supporting the drivers in the daily traffic challenges.
R&D China as well takes a leading role in the field of electric vehicle development – specifically with attention to the local market and strategic partners. R&D China’s local expertise and innovation power offers the competitive edge and therefore will further expand facilities in China, with the aim to have the best talents and partners in a digital working environment at the most advanced facilities.
Source: Daimler AG