China’s Great Wall Motors Co. Ltd (GWM) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maharashtra government, plans to invest $1 billion, or about ₹7,600 crore, to upgrade the manufacturing facility it had acquired from American carmaker General Motors near Pune and create jobs, the company said on Tuesday.
In January, GWM, which focuses on sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks, had said that it had reached an agreement with General Motors to acquire the Talegaon manufacturing unit for an undisclosed sum.
“The plant will be equipped with the latest world-class technology and, along with the research and development centre in Bengaluru, will generate employment for over 3,000 people in a phased manner,” the company said in a statement.
The agreement was signed by GWM India president James Yang, managing director Parker Shi and Subhash Desai, Maharashtra’s minister of industries, at a virtual event that was also attended by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and the Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong.
“This will be a highly automated plant in Talegaon with advanced robotics technology integrated in many of the production processes,” said Shi.
The Chinese carmaker, which produces the Haval SUV, also benefits from the existing infrastructure at the 300-acre Talegaon plant, with an established supply chain and skilled manpower, besides proximity to the Mumbai port and high-speed expressway.
The unit under General Motors had an installed annual capacity to produce 165,000 vehicles and 160,000 engines. Great Wall Motors will be the second big automaker from China to enter the Indian market after SAIC Motor Corp. owned MG Motor made its debut last year.