Following yesterday’s signing of an MoU with the government of Maharashtra, automaker Great Wall Motors (GWM) officially announced its investment in a state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing facility in Talegaon, Maharashtra. The plant will be equipped with the latest world-class technology and, along with the R&D centre in Bangalore, will generate employment for over 3,000 people in a phased manner.
The overall investment of a billion dollars (Rs 7,401 crore) was first made at the Auto Expo 2020 in February this year. Of this, as per the MoU, Maharashtra will get Rs 3,770 crore investment towards setting up its plant in Talegaon, Pune, which will see hiring of 2,042 people.
In January this year, GWM had signed an agreement to acquire this plant from General Motors, which was running only export operations, having exited the domestic market much earlier. The factory has facilities like logistics distribution center, training center, project management building, administrative office building and public facilities center. Strategically located in Talegaon Industrial Park, Maharashtra, it covers an area of around 300 acres and is close to the expressway. It is about 45 kilometres from Pune city and about 100 kilometres from Mumbai Port.
GWM signed the MOU with the Maharashtra government in presence of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray and Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador to India. The signing in ceremony was done via a virtual meeting between James Yang, President and Parker Shi, managing director of the Indian subsidiary of GWM, along with Sun Weidong, Chinese Ambassador and Subhash Desai, Minister of Industries, government of Maharashtra.
Commenting on the MoU signing, GWM India’s Parker Shi said, “We would like to thank the Maharashtra government for extending full support and helping us foster a long and mutually beneficial cooperation that hopefully will turn out to be a great business proposition for both. This would be a highly automated plant in Talegaon with advanced robotics technology integrated in many of the production processes. Overall we are committed to US $1 billion (Rs 7,401 crore) of investment in India in a phased manner, which is directed towards manufacturing world class intelligent and premium products, R&D centre, building supply chain and providing jobs to over 3000 people in a phased manner.”
Founded in 1984, GWM is a global SUV manufacturer and owns the Haval, GWM EV and GWM Pickup brands. The products cover traditional fuel-powered, pure electric, hybrid and other new energy models. GWM is now actively developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. At present, GWM has more than 91 holding subsidiaries worldwide with 10 R&D centres in 7 countries, including India, the United States, Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, and Austria. It has 14 global manufacturing facilities.
GWM product strategy for India
GWM primarily owns four brands – GWM EV (for electric vehicles), Haval and Wey (for SUVs) and GWM Pickup (for pickup trucks). Though the conglomerate hasn’t announced the models it intends to bring to India, the company did reveal at the Auto Expo that it will be debuting the Haval and GWM EV brands in India in 2021.
In an effort to showcase its portfolio, the company displayed a vast range of products at the 2020 motor show in Delhi NCR, including the Haval F5, F7, F7x and H9 SUVs, electric models like the R1 and iQ, and two concept vehicles – the Concept H and Vision 2025.
Read more: All-new GWM Haval B06 SUV revealed
GWM kicks off India operations at Auto Expo 2020