Hyundai Motor India has signed a conditional agreement with General Motors to acquire its defunct manufacturing plant in Talegaon, located near Pune, Maharashtra. The deal, however, is subject to obtaining regulatory approvals from relevant government authorities and ensuring a settlement for the workers who were laid off when the plant shut down in 2020.
General Motors ceased operations in India in 2017 after 21 years of rolling out Chevrolet cars in the country. Its exit was followed by another American automaker, Ford. While Ford’s plant in Sanand was bought by Tata Motors to manufacture electric vehicles last year, GM was urgently trying to find a buyer for its Talegaon plant.
The acquisition by Hyundai, the only foreign automaker with a substantial market share in India, would mark a significant expansion of its manufacturing capabilities in the country. The plant, where GM used to assemble internal combustion engine vehicles and produce powertrains, covers an area of 300 acres and has a capacity to produce 165,000 vehicles per year.
The General Motors Employee Union at the Talegaon plant has already approached the Bombay High Court, accusing GM of contempt of court. The court had directed GM to pay 50 percent of its wages as relief to workers starting in April 2022, but the company failed to do so.
The acquisition of the plant by Hyundai would also allow General Motors to finally exit the Indian market. In 2019, GM had agreed to sell the plant to China’s Great Wall Motor, but talks collapsed last year after the companies failed to obtain regulatory approvals amid increased scrutiny of investments from Beijing.
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