GM China and joint-venture partner SAIC open what they call the largest proving ground in China in Guangde County, west of Shanghai.
The 2.2-sq.-mi. (5.7-sq.-km) Guangde Proving Ground has 37.3 miles (60 km) of roads and facilities that enable vehicle testing under 67 different driving conditions. Total investment is RMB1.6 billion ($254 million).
“GM has brought some of our industry’s most advanced technology and processes to the Guangde Proving Ground,” GM China President Kevin Wale says in a statement.
“Our goal from the beginning was to make this a world-class facility. The greatest beneficiary will be our customers, who will receive even higher-quality vehicles that are equal to those built and sold anywhere else in the world.”
Wale retires as president of GM China at the end of this month.
The new proving ground supports the design and development of vehicles by the Pan Asia Automotive Technical Center owned by GM China and SAIC and located in Shanghai.
It complements PATAC’s Shanghai testing facilities, which include a noise, vibration and harshness lab, vehicle safety testing lab, visualization center and climate wind tunnel.
The new proving grounds can test 140 vehicles simultaneously. The tests include those specific to vehicle development, validation, certification, quality control, load data and analysis for vehicles under 7.5 tons (6.8 t).
GM China says in any given year vehicles under test will travel a combined distance of about 12.4 million miles (20 million km) on the test tracks.
The proving ground has eight different test areas, including an oval track, vehicle-dynamics area, long straightaway, ride and handling loop, noise-evaluation road, durability test area, corrosion test area and hill-test road.
In addition to the extensive test tracks, the 1,400-acre (567-ha) facility contains 5.7 acres (2.3 ha) of space devoted to testing laboratories, repair facilities and workshops.
By comparison, the General Motors Proving Ground in Milford, MI, covers about 4,000 acres (1,620 ha).
FAW-Volkswagen is developing a major proving ground near Changchun City in China’s northeast Jilin province. It is said to eclipse the Guangde Proving Ground and nearly rival the GM Milford facility in size, at 3,460 acres (1,400 ha), according to reports.
Construction of the RMB1.3 billion ($204 million ) FAW-VW facility began in June, with completion targeted before the end of 2014.