Wednesday, February 19, 2020

China's Great Wall Motors to Acquire GM's Thailand Manufacturing Facility


China’s Great Wall Motors (GWM) is setting its sights on the ASEAN market with the announcement that they’re the ones buying GM’s manufacturing facilities in Rayong, Thailand. This comes as GM finds continued manufacturing in ASEAN to be unfeasible.

The agreement, still subject to government and regulatory approvals, will include both the Rayong vehicle assembly and powertrain facilities. Both Great Wall and General Motors are targeting end of 2020 to close the deal and hand over the site.

Headquartered in Baoding, Hebei, China, Great Wall Motors sells passenger cars and trucks under the Great Wall brand and also under the Haval and WEY brands.

GWM global strategy vice president Mr. Liu Xiangshang said: “The global strategy of Great Wall Motors has begun to take shape after more than 10 years of development. In the past two years, through the export model transformation and upgrades, Great Wall Motors has accelerated the pace of its strategic global rollout. In 2019, Great Wall Motors’ Tula plant in Russia successfully started production, and the company also reached an agreement with GM to acquire its Talegaon Plant in India in early 2020.

“The acquisition of GM’s Thai Rayong plant will help the business development of Great Wall Motors in Thailand and the ASEAN market. Great Wall Motors will expand through the entire ASEAN region with Thailand as the center, and export its products to other ASEAN countries as well as Australia.

“The ASEAN automotive market is a developing market and a market with great prospects and potential. Entering the Thai market is the first step for Great Wall Motors to enter the ASEAN market, and is also an important step in Great Wall Motors’ global strategy. Great Wall Motors’ investment will create more jobs in the local area, including direct and indirect employment and further enhance skill development in the automotive industry. We will also promote the development of the local supply chain, R&D and related industries, plus contribute more to the exchequer of both the local Rayong and Thailand governments,” said Liu Xiangshang.

Since commencing manufacturing in 2000, the Rayong site has produced nearly 1.4 million trucks and large SUVs for domestic and export markets, as a regional manufacturing hub for mid-size trucks, SUVs and diesel engines.

GM International Operations Senior Vice President, Julian Blissett, said the company had taken the difficult decision to cease manufacturing operations in Thailand after undertaking a detailed analysis of the business case to allocate a future product program to the site.

“With globally-recognized efficiency and achieving key quality benchmarks, the team at Rayong has delivered world-class vehicles for domestic and export markets for two decades,” said Blissett.

“Our decision to cease production at the Rayong site is based on GM’s global strategy and optimization of our manufacturing footprint around the world. In this context, sale of the Rayong plants to GWM is best option to support future vehicle manufacturing at this site.”

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