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Great Wall Motors is closer to purchasing the manufacturing facility of General Motors in Maharashtra, as the biggest SUV manufacturer in China is finalizing plans to enter India, people in the know said.
A legal agreement is expected to be signed by the end of the month over the facility at Talegaon in Pune district, and GM is likely to get about $250-300 million from the deal, one of the sources stated.
The Company and GM have agreed on aspects regarding some of GM's disputed liabilities in India. Earlier, India's JSW Group had been in talks with GM over the factory as part of its plan to join the market for electric vehicles, but because of this issue they could not reach an agreement.
Great Wall Motors ' global chairman, Wei Jianjun, was in India last week and he checked the preparations before the company announced its official entry to India, perhaps at the upcoming Auto Expo 2020. The chairman met with the Chinese ambassador as part of his visit to India according to Chinese media sources.
The deal could give Great Wall a swift entrance into India by 2021. Despite its departure from the local market, the manufacturing plant was being used by US carmaker GM. It had delivered 50,000-70,000 cars. GM India said it "does not comment on rumors"
"We continue to produce vehicles for export at our Talegaon factory. As we said earlier, we are continuing to explore solutions for greater plant usage. We are not planning to publicly discuss options," a spokesperson said.
In February 2019, Great Wall had already authorized an investment of $1.6 million to create the local Indian office, to be called India Haval Auto, India Haval or India Haval Auto Sales, depending on regulatory clearance. The organization has used India as a tech hub for coding EVs and artificial intelligence apps. It started hiring in 2018 for the local automotive market.
The company will rely on petrol, hybrid and electric powertrains only and there are no plans to join the diesel SUV market here. Great Wall has a variety of SUVs, from a competitor in the Ford EcoSport to a rival in the Toyota Land Cruiser.