The sale of the former GM India plant in Talegaon to Great Wall Motor has been delayed due to an ongoing rift between India and China.
According to Reuters, it is unlikely that General Motors will gain approval from the Indian government to sell the plant to China’s Great Wall Motor at this time due to various political conflicts between the two countries. India has enacted new rules aimed at preventing Chinese companies from buying struggling Indian companies for cheap amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which could delay the approval process for the sale. Additionally, an ongoing conflict along the Sino-Indian border has led to further restrictions on Chinese investments in the country, Reuters points out, with the Maharashtra province putting the hold on the planned sale of the GM India facility.
GM had planned to sell the plant to Great Wall Motors for an estimated $250-$300 million, money that it would have used to pay off various debts tied to its exit from India. The automaker still plans to go through the closure of the site no matter how India-China relations progress, however, with one source close to the matter telling Reuters that it will “either be a closed GM site or it will be an operating site with Great Wall,” in 2021. While GM has not sold any vehicles in India directly after pulling out in 2017, the GM India plant in Talegaon still produces vehicles for export.
Great Wall, for its part, also wants to see the deal go through. The company had previously planned to start production of its first Indian-made car at the facility in the first half of 2021 and has already begun hiring staff to run the plant and working with potential suppliers. Great Wall previously said it would invest $1 billion in its Indian operations, as well, though these commitments were made before the COVID-19 pandemic and the India-China border skirmishes.