Great Wall Motor in talks to enter India - SIAM official

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:42pm IST

Portugal's Carlos Sousa and co-pilot Jean-Pierre Garcin of France drive their Great Wall during the fifth stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012 from Chilecito to Fiambala January 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/Files

Portugal's Carlos Sousa and co-pilot Jean-Pierre Garcin of France drive their Great Wall during the fifth stage of the fourth South American edition of the Dakar Rally 2012 from Chilecito to Fiambala January 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jacky Naegelen/Files

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MUMBAI/NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Great Wall Motor Co (601633.SS) is in talks to open a plant in India, a move that would make it the first Chinese carmaker to operate in the country without a partner.

"They are meeting industry. They are meeting government. They are meeting suppliers," Vishnu Mathur, director general of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers - a lobby group, told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

Great Wall (2333.HK), which sells its sport-utility vehicles and pick-up trucks in other emerging markets such as Russia and South Africa, is not yet present in India's booming SUV market, one of a few bright spots in the local automotive industry.

China's eighth-largest car maker, which sent a delegation to India last week, is targeting 2016 to start manufacturing in India, Mathur said, adding Great Wall executives met SIAM representatives last week.

Great Wall was not available to comment.

Passenger utility vehicle sales, helped by subsidies on diesel fuel, rose 62 percent in the April-November period, while car sales rose 1.3 percent.

New entrants will compete with market leader Mahindra and Mahindra (MAHM.NS) and Tata Motors (TAMO.NS). Also, Italian carmaker Fiat (FIA.MI) said last week it would launch Jeep, an SUV brand controlled by U.S. subsidiary Chrysler, in late 2013.

While India has attracted billions of dollars investment from overseas manufacturers, such as Ford (F.N), General Motors (GM.N) and Toyota (7203.T), Chinese carmakers have yet to make significant inroads.

Chinese group SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS) cut its stake in GM's Indian operations to 9 percent in October, from 50 percent.

A slowdown in India's car market over the past 18 months has raised fears of overcapacity, with sales expected to grow 1-3 percent in the financial year that ends in March.

Great Wall, China's largest car maker without a foreign partner, aims to more than double annual sales by 2015 by targeting more overseas markets, its chairman said last month.

(Additional reporting by Fang Yan in BEIJING; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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Comments (1)
Henli wrote:
The Indian automotive industry embarked on a new journey in 1991 with de-licensing of the sector and subsequent opening up for 100% foreign direct investment (FDI). Since then almost all global majors have set up their facilities in India. Now it is the turn of Great Wall Motor Co. To name some of the recent investments by foreign companies, earlier this year Schaeffler announced planned investments of 150 million Euros (Rs. 1050 crores) in India over the next three to four years for expanding existing plants at Pune, Hosur and Vadodara – besides building green field plant at Savli, near Vadodara. This kind of investments by major companies will definitely help to realize the vision of AMP 2006-2016 to emerge as the destination of choice in the world for design and manufacture of automobiles and auto components.

Dec 11, 2012 2:25pm IST  --  Report as abuse
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