General Motors broke ground today on the new Charlotte Technical Center, a 130,000-square-foot facility that will expand GM’s performance and racing capabilities. Additionally, the center will accelerate strategic knowledge transfer between motorsports and production vehicle development.
Representatives of Chip Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports joined GM for the groundbreaking at the complex in Concord. The site was selected for its proximity to partner racing teams and major technical suppliers. The new technical center will support racing efforts across all series in which GM competes.
The facility is a $45 million investment for GM and is scheduled to open in early 2022.
“After more than a year of unprecedented challenges for everyone, we reevaluated our plans and found we could expand the footprint and scope for the Charlotte Technical Center to make it an even greater resource. This new location and larger facility is a clean-sheet design, tailored for technology development and collaboration with our racing teams and technical partners.” – Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports
Construction has begun on the new facility. A previously announced site was repurposed by GM Defense for production of the new Infantry Squad Vehicle, a light and agile troop carrier developed for the U.S. Army.
The center’s location, in the heart of one of the nation’s racing hubs and near colleges and universities, will provide more opportunities for GM to recruit top talent in the fields of software engineering, computational science, electrical engineering and other technical skill sets.
“The new Charlotte Technical Center will expand GM’s engineering footprint in the epicenter of racing in the United States, and will improve our engineering speed and capability in both the racing and production environments,” said Jim Danahy, GM vice president of Global Safety, Systems and Integration. “It will be a strong hub for the racing and production engineering teams to collaborate, share resources and learn together, delivering better results more quickly both on the racetrack and in our production vehicles.”
Development technologies often make their way from the racing world to production vehicles. A combination of virtual simulation and physical testing is used to meet the quick development time frames for motorsports teams. The testing methods used in racing, along with frequent competition, provide valuable training experiences for GM production vehicle engineers.
The new technical center will feature advanced virtual tools, including three state-of-the-art Driver-in-the-Loop simulators, aero development and other software-enabled vehicle modeling technology that will enable faster analysis and iteration. The facility will expand GM’s capacity to process, analyze and leverage vast amounts of data, allowing its racing and engineering teams to optimize designs earlier in the development process while simultaneously delivering greater first-time quality.