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Ricardo Assists China's SAIC Motor Into Production With KV6 Gasoline Engine in Record Time

VAN BUREN TWP., Mich., Jan. 10, 2007 -- Following an intensive program of production engineering, localization of component supply and commissioning of its brand new 15 million pound Baoshan engine manufacturing plant near Shanghai, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) Motor announced the start of production on the KV6 gasoline engine, which will power its Roewe brand products.

This announcement follows the unveiling of SAIC Motor's first own-brand car, the Roewe 750 sedan, at the China Auto Show in Beijing in November. The design of the new 140kW (188 hp) KV6 gasoline engine was part of the package that IPR purchased by SAIC Motor in 2004 from former UK automaker MG Rover. This IPR purchase did not, however, include the provision of any manufacturing tooling or background expertise. In response to these requirements, a new Ricardo subsidiary, Ricardo 2010 Consultants Ltd, was formed both to assist SAIC Motor into production with products based on the acquired IPR and also to act as the nucleus for the development of SAIC Motor's in-house automotive research and development capability for future product development.

The team from Ricardo 2010 who supported SAIC Motor on the manufacturing launch of the KV6 engine included key engineering staff whose role involved the detailed specification of the production equipment required for the new plant, as well as its installation and the commissioning needed for pilot production. In parallel with this, a team of 10 engineers were based in Shanghai for purposes of localization of component supply, including supplier selection and development of internationally competitive standards. As a result of the work by the joint Ricardo 2010 and SAIC Motor team, this powerful, Euro 4 compliant engine has been localized for almost total Chinese content and commissioned for manufacture in less than 14 months from the initial project specification.

"We congratulate SAIC Motor on the commencement of manufacture of the KV6, its first ever in-house engine," said Mark Garrett, Ricardo director of gasoline engineering. "This has been a tremendous achievement both for SAIC Motor and the Ricardo 2010 team who has assisted on this highly significant program. The results demonstrate our capability to deliver very rapid Chinese localization of supply without compromise to internationally recognized standards of quality, performance and emissions certification."

With its North American headquarters in Van Buren Twp., Mich., Ricardo -- a world-leading vehicle system and powertrain technology provider for automotive manufacturers, heavy-duty manufacturers and tier one suppliers -- has been providing value through innovation and technology for 100 years.

Ricardo is the premium global deep-content engineering and management consulting partner for automotive, commercial vehicle and related industry sectors. The company provides complete engineering services from strategy through product concept, design release and validation, and all phases of the product lifecycle. Ricardo technical expertise lies in powertrain and driveline, vehicle engineering, hybrid and fuel cell technologies, controls and electronics, niche volume manufacturing and advanced simulation software.

Ricardo is committed to excellence and industry leadership in people, technology and knowledge. A public company based in the U.K., Ricardo plc posted sales of $272 million in fiscal year 2005 and is a part of the FTSE techMark 100 index -- a group of innovative technology companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, visit

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) Motor is one of China's leading automakers. In 2005 alone, it produced over 318,000 mainly GM-brand and VW-badged cars in China to international quality standards through its manufacturing joint ventures with General Motors and Volkswagen AG respectively. As such, SAIC Motor is already a significant automotive manufacturer on the international stage and is growing rapidly: 2005 production was up 34 percent on the previous year. Yet, as a major element of its forward strategy, the company aspires to acquire the capability to develop world-class automotive products under its own brand, both for distribution in China as well as for export to major international markets. In 2004, SAIC purchased the intellectual property rights of the Rover 75 and 25 products of former UK automaker MG Rover, as well as the K series gasoline and G series diesel engine families.

Ricardo 2010 Consultants Ltd was formed and is currently managed as an operating subsidiary of Ricardo plc to act as the overseas engineering center of SAIC motor. Through its links with the wider Ricardo group, it has ready- made access to specialist technology, design, test and development facilities -- assets which are invaluable for state-of-the-art automotive product development. On formation of Ricardo 2010, some of the most talented and highly skilled engineering staff of the former MG Rover organization were recruited and the UK engineering team rapidly grew to approximately 150 staff, representing some of the best talent available from the former MG Rover and other automotive organisations, assisted by fellow engineers and resources as necessary from other Ricardo divisions.

In addition to its role in developing the first new products for SAIC, Ricardo 2010 Consultants is assisting in the development of processes and systems for SAIC's growing in-house engineering organization, the Shanghai Automotive Engineering Academy (SAEA). It is envisaged that Ricardo 2010 Consultants will ultimately form the European development center of SAEA, focusing on advanced research and development and product adaptation for European markets.