Great Wall Motors to acquire GM Thailand's Rayong plants, makes strategic entry into ASEAN markets

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 17 Feb 2020

General Motors (GM) has signed an agreement for the sale of GM Thailand’s manufacturing facilities in Rayong to China's Great Wall Motors (GWM), subject to regulatory and government approvals. Both companies are targetting to close the deal by end of 2020 and hand over the site.

Under the terms of the agreement, Great Wall will acquire GM Thailand and GM Powertrain Thailand legal entities, which include the Rayong vehicle assembly and powertrain facilities

GWM global strategy vice-president Liu Xiangshang said: “The acquisition of GM's Thai Rayong plant will help the business development of Great Wall Motors in Thailand and the ASEAN market. Great Wall Motors will expand through the entire ASEAN region with Thailand as the centre, and export its products to other ASEAN countries as well as Australia. Entering the Thai market is the first step for GWM to enter the ASEAN market, and is also an important step in Great Wall Motors’ global strategy. Great Wall Motors’ investment will create more jobs in the local area, including direct and indirect employment and further enhance skill development in the automotive industry. We will also promote the development of the local supply chain, R&D and related industries, plus contribute more to the exchequer of both the local Rayong and Thailand governments.”

The Rayong site has produced nearly 1.4 million trucks and large SUVs for domestic and export markets since it commenced manufacturing in 2000 as a regional manufacturing hub for mid-size trucks, SUVs and diesel engines.

Julian Blissett, GM’s international operations senior VP, said the company had decided to cease manufacturing operations in Thailand after undertaking a detailed analysis of the business case. “Our decision to cease production at the Rayong site is based on GM’s global strategy and optimisation of our manufacturing footprint around the world. In this context, sale of the Rayong plants to GWM is best option to support future vehicle manufacturing at this site. With globally-recognised efficiency and achieving key quality benchmarks, the team at Rayong has delivered world-class vehicles for domestic and export markets for two decades.”

Earlier in January, General Motors had announced an agreement for the sale of GM India’s Talegaon manufacturing facility to Great Wall Motors, subject to requisite government and regulatory approvals. Commenting on that, GWM’s Liu Xiangshang added that, In the past two years, through the export model transformation and upgrades, Great Wall Motors has accelerated the pace of its strategic global rollout. In 2019, Great Wall Motors’ Tula plant in Russia successfully started production, and the company also reached an agreement with GM to acquire its Talegaon Plant in India in early 2020.”