PARIS—With an eye on growing its stake in the ever-changing Chinese market, Hutchinson S.A. has opened a research and innovation center, 822 Fab House, in Suzhou, China. Hutchinson, which has been operating in China for 25 years, said the region presents a "highly favorable industrial ecosystem."
"Everything moves very fast in China," CEO Erederic Le Du said in a statement. "If we want to still be present in the future in hybrid or electrical vehicles, we need to increase our local innovation capacities ten-fold."
Hutchinson operates two other global innovation centers—507 Fab House, near Paris, and 616 Fab House in Grand Rapids Mich. Both opened in 2016.
The Suzhou-based innovation center to seeks to meet the needs of local customers by developing technologies that align with the requirements of automotive and aerospace customers. The center also is strategically located, close to a number of high-tech industries, particularly, auto makers such as Volkswagen, Jaguar-Land Rover and Mazda.
Hutchinson has a sales office in Beijing, as well as four industrial sites in Wuhan, Chongquing, Shenyang and Suzhou. While all the sites supply to the automotive industry, the Suzhou plant also provides parts to the aerospace and railway sectors.
Similar to its Parisian counterpart, the Suzhou Fab House has "big tables" presenting all the main product families manufactured.
The ground floor of the center features test machines, showcasing Hutchinson's test capabilities in China. The company expects to add a mock-up of a hybrid car with latest on-board technologies in augmented realities to the show room.