Volvo Cars to partner with ECARX on smart car joint venture

A long exposure picture shows cars of Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo displayed in front of a showroom of Stierli Automobile AG company in St. Erhard, Switzerland.

Swedish premium automaker Volvo Cars will launch a joint venture with ECARX, a smart car technology startup co-founded by Geely’s chairman, to develop in-car operation software systems, the companies said on Tuesday.

ECARX, which was founded by its chief executive Shen Ziyu and Geely chairman Li Shufu in 2016, focuses on technology used in car chips, high-definition maps and smart vehicles.

The joint venture, which will be headquartered in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, will develop in-car operation software systems for Volvo Cars, other brands under Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and potentially other companies.

“The planned joint venture would allow both companies and the wider Geely Group to speed up technology development, improve cost efficiency and create new revenue streams,” the companies said in the statement.

The announcement comes as ECARX has sought to raise funds in recent months to develop future technologies. It has said its valuation exceeds $2 billion.

ECARX raised over $200 million from investors including China Reform last month and $195 million in October in a funding round that included Baidu Inc and U.S. firm Susquehanna International Group.

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