French supplier Valeo said it expanded its tech center in the central China city of Wuhan to strengthen its development capability of parts and components for intelligent vehicles in China. 

Last week, the tech center’s phase-two project — a new building covering a ground area of 3,000 square meters (32,291 square feet) — started operation, Valeo said.

The new building can house more than 1,000 engineers to develop software and hardware for censors, cameras, radars, lidars, intelligent cockpits and electronic control units used in vehicles. 

Before the expansion, Valeo’s Wuhan tech center mainly conducted r&d for automotive lighting and driving assistance technologies. 

Affected by the protracted downturn in the local light-vehicle market, Valeo’s sales to automakers in China fell 19 percent to 861 million euros ($960 million) in the first half of 2019.  

Valeo, based in Paris, ranks No. 10 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $19.68 billion in its 2018 fiscal year. 

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