Great Wall Motors Deal For GM’s Talegaon Plant Could Fall Through: Report

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GWM originally signed an agreement with GM India for the acquisition of Talegaon plant in January 2020

China’s Great Wall Motors (GWM) first announced its plans to enter India back in 2020 signing an agreement with General Motors to take over its Talegaon plant. The company even showcased a large line-up of models at the 2020 Auto Expo to gauge customer interest and it worked in earnest to ready products for India. However, the breakout of geo-political tensions between India and China seemingly put brakes on the company’s plans with the sale of GM’s Talegaon plant still lacking the required government approvals. As per a recent retort by ETAuto, General Motors are considering a plan B at looking for other takes for its plant while GWM itself is on the cusp of possibly withdrawing any plans of coming to India. The company had last year considered launching products in India via the CBU route though those plans too have reportedly been dropped.

The sale of GM’s Talegaon plant was initially expected to have been completed by the end of 2020 though the term sheet was extended twice due to the delays in getting the central government’s approval for foreign direct investment. Since the breakout of tensions with China the government had undertaken strict screening of all foreign direct investment proposals particularly from Chinese companies. The term sheet is currently set to expire on June 30 with it looking likely that there will not be any further extension.

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Great Wall Motors had several models on display at the 2020 Auto Expo as it looked keen to launch in India.

As per the report neither company commented on the future of the deal. Sources told ET Auto that GWM’s FDI proposal has barely made any progress since it was first submitted and there were chances that it would not progress.

General Motors stopped manufacturing operations at its Talegaon plant in December 2020 having pulled out of selling cars in India back in 2017. The company is currently involved in legal tangles with its worker’s union over the laying off its Talegaon plant staff following the shutdown of operations. The American manufacturer though has reportedly received interest in its Talegaon plant from other manufacturers though there is little detail at this point on who could possible be taking over the plant.

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GWM meanwhile has over the last two years seen the size of its management team in India shrink from 30 to 10 with multiple roles in business planning, sales and marketing and more being left open. The company has also reportedly not hiked salaries for its employees this year while some of the company’s Chinese executives who migrated to India are expected to return home.

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