It looks like General Motors’ phase-wise de-escalation of its Indian operations is set to attain completion sooner than later. After years of struggling in our market, the American auto giant stopped selling its cars in the domestic market in 2017 and subsequently sold its Halol manufacturing plant to SAIC (MG Motor).
Currently, GM India is operating its Talegaon manufacturing facility in Maharashtra which produces vehicles solely for export markets but the numbers aren’t great. Livemint reports that the company is in advanced talks with Great Wall Motors, China’s largest SUV maker, to transfer the ownership of its Talegaon unit.
It is no secret that Great Wall Motors has been exploring the Indian market for quite sometime and is now about to make its entry. The SUV specialist is set to showcase some of its products at the upcoming Auto Expo next month to gather public opinion and introduce itself to the market.
The publication also reports that Great Wall Motors has singed an MoU with GM and is currently in the process of negotiating with the Maharashtra government for possible incentives should it decide to acquire the Talegaon plant. The deal, if goes ahead, is estimated to be valued at around USD 250 to 300 million.
GM India’s Talegaon plant has assembly lines for both vehicles as well as powertrains. The plant has the capacity to manufacture 1.65 lakh vehicles and 1.60 lakh powertrains per annum. As of now, only a fraction of this capacity is being utilized to produce Chevrolet Beat hatchback primarily for Latin American markets.
Acquisition of the plant by Great Wall Motors will help the brand establish its presence in the country in a relatively shorter period of time at a reasonable investment just like SAIC did with MG Motor. A greenfield plant would take much longer period to become operational. Great Wall is likely to let its Haval SUV brand to take charge of its Indian operations. We will know more details at the Auto Expo.
As far as GM is concerned, the sale of its plant would mark complete withdrawal from India, thus helping it direct the resources towards one of its focus markets.