Mumbai: Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor Company Ltd (GWM) on Monday said it will buy General Motors’ (GM) vehicle and engine plants in Rayong, Thailand. This comes a month after GWM announced the acquisition of the American automaker's manufacturing facility in Talegaon near Pune.
GWM said the acquisition is subject to necessary government and regulatory approvals.
“Under a signed binding term sheet, GM Thailand and GM Powertrain Thailand legal entities, which include the Rayong vehicle assembly and powertrain facilities, will transfer to GWM. GM and GWM are targeting end of 2020 to close the deal and hand over the site," the company said in its official statement on Monday.
GWM’s acquisition of GM’s manufacturing units in India and Thailand only underlines its aggressive strategy to expand in the growing South East Asian markets, including ASEAN.
This is in contrast to the measures taken by the American carmaker, also one of the largest auto companies in the world, to downsize loss-making overseas units while focusing on futuristic technologies such as autonomous and electric vehicles. GM aims to turn profitable with focus on the two largest car markets in the world – US and China.
GM is also exiting Australia and New Zealand markets.
GWM said, it will "expand through the entire ASEAN region with Thailand as the center, and export its products to other ASEAN countries as well as Australia".
“This agreement marks an important milestone in the overall scheme of things for Great Wall Motor in the ASEAN Region and is a testimony of our global expansion strategy that is now focused on South East Asia including India," said Parker Shi, vice president, GWM India.
GWM is looking at making India a manufacturing hub and "an important asset in the ASEAN market, encompassing manufacturing, R&D and exports", Shi added.
GWM global strategy vice president Liu Xiangshang said the carmaker’s strategy to grow globally has started to take shape after more than 10 years of development.
“In the past two years, through the export model transformation and upgrades, Great Wall Motor has accelerated the pace of its strategic global rollout," he said, adding GWM’s Tula plant in Russia successfully started production in 2019.
GM’s Rayong plant, which commenced manufacturing operations in 2000, has rolled out nearly 1.4 million midsize trucks and large sport utility vehicles (SUV), GWM and GM said in a joint statement.