Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Laird opens telematics facility in Shanghai to serve automotive sector

Iain Morris
October 22, 2014

Electronics giant Laird has opened a new telematics manufacturing facility in Shanghai to serve the global automotive market.

The company says that Shanghai is emerging as a global hub for technology innovation and has the infrastructure and talent to support its ambitions.

The new facility will serve as a design and manufacturing center that will develop so-called “smart antenna” as well as M2M technologies in the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure areas.

Technologies allowing cars to communicate with one another or with other machines could help to improve driver safety, the passenger experience and the management of vehicle assets in future.

Laird (London, UK) says that with drivers, passengers and fleet management companies all demanding more connectivity, the market for complex antenna solutions is also expanding.

It aims to combine the various capabilities of asset tracking, GPS, cellular and Bluetooth technologies in “one efficient package”.

The new plant is intended to increase production capacity and efficiency while allowing for “exacting quality control”.

Products will sold to automotive manufacturers and fleet management companies worldwide.

“Embedded in the design and construction of this plant are improved techniques for both communication and for the management of production areas,” said David Lockwood, Laird’s chief executive.

The opening of the facility follows the launch of production facilities in Vietnam earlier this year and Laird plans to open a third in 2014 as part of expansion activities in Warren, Ohio.

Laird has also recently acquired a majority stake in Korea-based Model Solution, which provides prototype and development services, helping customers to rapidly introduce new products into the market.

Laird said the new plant in Shanghai will employ around 1,200 workers and be located in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park.

It will replace a much older and smaller plant nearby and Laird expects to create more jobs in the future as the plant expands operations.

Laird currently employs nearly 7,000 people at 16 facilities across Asia, and around 9,000 people worldwide.
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