Back in December 2012, we reported that China's largest SUV maker, Great Wall Motors (GWM) has set its mind to make a foray into the Indian market. And today, according to people in the know, GWM has zeroed in to build its first production plant in the country in Pune, Maharashtra. The Chinese company hopes to commence operation at the new plant by 2016.
The company was earlier also considering Gujarat and Tamil Nadu to set up its plant, but Maharashtra took away the prize due to the host of incentives offered by the state. The Chinese company has already sent a team of senior executives to India to workout a schedule to foray into the domestic market. The finer details of investment and capacity would be revealed in the next few months.
Furthermore, GWM has also hinted that the first model to be launched in the country under the Chinese brand will be the globally successful, Haval H5 SUV. The company is understood to have already initiated product clinics of the H5 SUV for the Indian market and could be showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo, along with other models from the brand.
GWM is China's eight largest car maker and the largest independent (without any foreign partner) there. And as expected, GWM has ruled out any joint venture with any Indian partner, which will make the brand the first Chinese auto company to establish a wholly owned subsidiary in India and introduce a slew of its own cars and SUVs in the country.
India is a growing market and if the Chinese can offer something affordable but not brittle, then the Indian market should readily accept it.