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GM to spend $71M on new California design center

General Motors on Tuesday said it will spend more than $71 million to establish a new design center in Pasadena, California.

The design center is due to be completed in mid-2022 and will facilitate the operations of GM’s Advanced Design Center division. The division is responsible for concepts and other forward-looking projects such as mobility, and is separate to the design division for production vehicle programs.

The division already has a design center in North Hollywood but additional space was required to enable more full-scale models to be created, as well as improving efficiency of the layout in order to reduce disruptions. When complete, the new center will span almost 149,000 square feet.

Key areas will be an innovation lab for designing, implementing and validating new design tools, a dedicated area for user interface design, and a dedicated area for work involving GM’s partners.

The location will also enable GM to hire and work more closely with designers from aerospace engineering, defense and software backgrounds, due to its close proximity to hubs for those specific industries. Also in the area are leading universities and design schools.

“Having a physical presence in Southern California’s technology epicenter is an integral part of our global design operations and this new innovation campus will not only expand our operations twofold, but offers access to the rich cultural diversity and talent in the region,” Michael Simcoe, GM’s head of design, said in statement.

The announcement follows GM’s earlier announcement in July to expand its Advanced Design Center in Shanghai, China. GM is also in the process of constructing a separate Design West facility at its R&D hub in Warren, Michigan.

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