Great Wall Motor Shuts India Operations, Fires All Indian Employees: Report

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Great Wall Motor
Great Wall Motor

A recent report claims that the Indian workers from various departments at Great Wall Motor (GWM) received their pink slips and three months’ worth of advance pay earlier this week.

The last 11 employees of China’s Great Wall Motor (GWM) still working there were recently let go. The company has closed its India operations. A recent report states that Indian workers from various departments received their pink slips earlier this week along with three months’ worth of advance pay for the months of July through September. The report also notes that the employees who were laid off received variable pay for a period of six months. Both of the employees allegedly received no alternative job offers or relocation options. The update was made just before General Motors (GM) in India’s contract with GWM was due to expire on June 30, 2022.

GWM made its India debut amidst much fanfare at the 2020 Auto Expo and the company was set to make a huge splash in the Indian market with a host of SUVs. The Chinese automaker had announced an investment of $1 billion (around Rs. 7,400 crore) and was also set to acquire GM’s erstwhile Talegaon plant. The investment would be used to revamp the facility and modernise the plant to build new vehicles under the Haval brand. The company signed an MoU with the Maharashtra government for the same. The plant along with an R&D centre in Bengaluru was expected to generate employment for over 3000 people in a phased manner.

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General Motors’ Talegaon facility in Maharashtra was going to be acquired by GWM India, but the government barred investments from Chinese players.

The Covid-19 pandemic, however, forced lockdowns around the world in 2020, delaying the company’s plans. Additionally, the Galwan Valley clashes that year changed the geopolitical landscape between China and India and halted all Chinese players’ investments in the nation. GWM has been unsuccessful in obtaining regulatory approvals from the government under the FDI regulations over the last two years.

Additionally, GWM lost important members of its management team in India over the past year. Some of the well-known departures include Hardeep Singh Brar, Director of Sales and Marketing, who joined Kia India after leaving the company in March 2021. Kaushik Ganguly, Director of Strategy & Planning at GWM, left the organisation a year later. He joined the company in October 2018 and was one of the company’s first significant appointments.

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