Great Wall Motors news: Great Wall Motors drops $ 1 billion India entry plan

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After two and half years of waiting to get the government’s clearance, Great Wall Motor, China’s largest SUV maker, has pulled the plug on its $1-billion proposed investment to enter the Indian market.

The decision was communicated to close to a dozen employees on Friday by the senior Chinese executives, said people in the know.

The company has extended a three months’ severance package to these employees, across functions of marketing, network, planning and strategy, service, HR & Finance, quality and production and R&D, added people in the know.

In 2020, Great Wall Motor had entered into a term sheet agreement to acquire General Motors’ Talegaon plant near Pune. The company even participated in the Auto Expo of 2020.

Great Wall Motor will join the likes of Changan, Haima and Chery that had serious plans of entering India, but couldn’t scale the great wall of regulations amid geopolitical changes in the continent.

A company spokesperson confirmed the development.

“The term sheet for the sale of Talegaon site between GWM and GM expired on June 30, 2022, but we have been unable to obtain approvals within the timeframe. Hence, both parties decided to terminate the transaction. The project lasted two-and-a-half years,” said the spokesperson.

GWM added that the company will continue to pay attention to and study Indian market, and “look for opportunities with the hope to provide new experience for Indian consumers with innovative products in the future,” spokesperson added.

Having extended the term sheet twice and the $1-billion Great Wall Motor proposal stuck in federal clearance for more than two years, the US car maker was compelled to look at alternatives for the plant’s sale.

To be sure, Great Wall Motor has been exploring its India entry for close to a decade. It had made attempts to enter the market around 2014-2015, followed by 2017, and it finally signed a term sheet with GM to take over its Talegaon plant in 2020.

With the term sheet expiring, the FDI proposal submitted with the government stood void, since both GM and Great Wall Motor were party to the proposal. If at all GWM intended to carry on with its India plans, it would have had to present a fresh proposal to the government of India.

To be sure, over the last two years, the maker of Haval SUV did explore potential alternatives of assembling vehicles in a CKD form and even the completely built imports, but the plan did not translate into real action.

Interestingly, India was seen as a key frontier in Great Wall Motor’s international expansion along with Thailand and Brazil. While the operations in South East Asia and Latin American countries have kicked off, the Indian proposal has been stuck.

Over time, the key executives

plans were diverted to global markets and the team hired locally has almost halved, with key executives in the critical role of business development, sales and marketing, and strategy moving on to other automotive companies.

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