After 21 years of producing a number of vehicles, General Motors’ Halol plant has closed today. The Talegaon facility in Maharashtra will now take care of manufacturing as well as assembly of upcoming models from Chevrolet in India. A hint that the Halol plant will be shut happened in 2015 when Mary Barra, CEO of GM, during her India said, “Consolidating our manufacturing in a single location in India will support the long-term sustainability of our business in a challenging emerging market.” The Halol facility had a production capacity of 1.1 lakh units per year and the workforce at this plant has been given the option to either ‘generous’ separation payments or transfer to the Talegaon production plant.
General Motors India has been in talks with SAIC Motor, a Chinese automotive manufacturer and a term sheet was signed between the two companies. SAIC Motor has stated that the final takeover from the American carmaker would happen only after appropriate government approvals, settlement of labour and all other pending issues by GM India. In 2015, the company announced an investment of $ 1 billion to expand its visibility in the country and introduce 10 new models. However, the dwindling sales figures of most of their cars launched under the Chevrolet badge led the American auto giant to put a hold on their future investments in India.
The company has sold a number of products under the Opel and Chevrolet brands, however, since its introduction in India in 1996, General Motors’ fate in the country has looked bleak. The current market share of 0.85 percent of the company isn’t a good number for a fairly large organisation. The Talegaon facility, which currently produces 1.3 lakh vehicles and 1.6 lakh engines will also be ramped up to 2.2 lakh vehicles by 2015.
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