[Photo provided by Mando Corp.]
Mando Corp., auto parts making unit of South Korea’s large conglomerate Halla Group, will build a new research and development (R&D) facility in Korea to enhance its capability in future vehicle technologies.
The company said on Tuesday that it will build Next M, a high-technology research center, in 2nd Techno Valley that is being created near Seoul to boost local startups. The announcement comes after Mando received the highest score in an evaluation of business proposals of companies wishing to invest in the complex in Pangyo, dubbed as Korea’s Silicon Valley. Gyeonggi Urban Innovation Corporation reviewed the proposals. The R&D facility will be the second of its kind for Mando after its first that opened in the first Pangyo Techno Valley in 2012.
The 12-story Next M building with five underground floors will have a working space, research laboratories, start-up lounge, and an open-air auditorium. The company will aim to complete its construction by December, 2021.
Mando plans to focus on promoting advanced R&D on electric and autonomous vehicles that are considered core future vehicle technologies. The company also announced to increase its minimum R&D investment from the current 5 percent or more of its total annual sales to 8 percent or more.
An unnamed official from Mando said that the company plans to rent out research space to startups moving into 2nd Techno Valley in Pangyo and also forge partnerships with them through technology exchanges.
Mando currently manages 24 manufacturing sites and 15 R&D facilities globally. The company boasts of annual capacity of 12 million chassis parts including brakes, steering, and suspensions. Mando has also secured core original technology loaded on self-driving vehicles such as a front detection long-range radar sensor and was the first in the country to mass produce the sensor, being an active player in the commercialization of self-driving vehicle technology.
By Kang Young-woon and Lee Eun-joo
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]