NANJING, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Auto companies and colleges from China and Italy jointly launched an auto innovation base in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou on Monday.
With an investment of 1 billion yuan (about 151 million U.S. dollars), the base will focus on designing new energy vehicles (NEV) and developing their power system.
The base is co-launched by the Suzhou Xiangcheng economic and technology development zone, auto firm Cemi Group, University of Bologna, Scuola Politecnica di Design and Soochow University.
"The innovation base combines international technology with the Chinese market," said Hu Yungeng, chairman of Cemi Group. "Cooperation between China and Italy in the auto industry is expected to bear fruitful results."
During the first quarter this year, China's NEV production and sales amounted to 304,000 and 299,000 vehicles respectively, up 102.7 percent and 109.7 percent year on year.