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Geely-Backed ECARX and Volvo Mull Joint Venture to Develop Infotainment Systems for Global Automakers

Ding Yi / Mar 24, 2021 03:41 PM / Business & Tech

ECARX, an auto tech startup backed by Chinese carmaker Geely and Volvo plan to set up a joint venture in the Swedish city of Gothenburg to develop an infotainment platform, marking the latest example of tech firms and traditional automakers pairing up to delve into smart vehicle technologies.

The infotainment platform will be used in Volvo and Geely cars as well as vehicles built by other automakers, the two companies said in a statement released on Tuesday.

As part of the partnership, ECARX and Volvo, which is owned by Geely, will also explore the use of ECARX’s automotive services in the Chinese market and study the compatibility between the services and ECARX’s hardware.

ECARX CEO Shen Ziyu said that the joint venture will take advantage of “their respective technical advantages” in order to bring internet-connected infotainment experiences to global consumers. In 2020, Volvo became one of the world’s first automakers to introduce an infotainment system based on the Android automotive operating system, which the Swedish company has developed in partnership with Google since 2017.

The joint venture could also be seen as another major step in ECARX’s globalization strategy. In December, Hangzhou-based ECARX signaled its global aspirations by establishing its European headquarters and an R&D center in Gothenburg. Two months later, it built partnerships with U.S. auto parts supplier Visteon and American chipmaker Qualcomm to jointly develop smart cockpit solutions for both conventional and electric vehicle applications. Apart from smart cockpit, ECARX also develops technologies related to vehicle chips, high-definition maps, intelligent driving, big data and the internet of vehicles.

Last month, 5-year-old ECARX raised more than $200 million in a funding round led by China State-Owned Capital Venture Investment Fund, which it said would be used for global expansion.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Geely-Backed Smart Vehicle Tech Startup Eyes Global Expansion With New Funding

 


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