Great Wall Motor (GWM) expands its global footprint by signing an agreement for the purchase of General Motors’ manufacturing facility in Rayong, Thailand. This announcement is subject to 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.
“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 Mr. Parker Shi, Vice President, GWM India. He further added “With the showcase of its line-up in India at the Auto Expo 2020, GWM is looking at India as a manufacturing hub and a very important asset in the ASEAN market, encompassing manufacturing, R&D and exports.”
Speaking on this occasion GWM global strategy Vice President Mr. Liu Xiangshang said: “The global strategy of Great Wall Motor 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 Motor 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 Motor in Thailand and the ASEAN market. Great Wall Motor 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 Motor 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. GWM 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. 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.
Mr. Julian Blissett, Senior Vice President – Operations, GM International, 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.” He further stated, “On behalf of GM, I thank the Thailand team for their outstanding contribution to our company. I also want to thank the Thai Government for its long-standing support of our operations and for sustaining a highly competitive business environment in the market.”