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China SUV entry plan

New Delhi, Dec. 10: Great Wall Motor Co, China’s leading sports utility vehicle maker, is planning to set up a wholly owned company in India, following in the footsteps of commercial vehicles manufacturer Beiqi Foton Motor Co.

“Officials of Great Wall Motor were in Delhi last week for discussions and they have a team in India, which is looking for location for a plant,” Vishnu Mathur, director-general of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), said.

He said Great Wall was “looking for an independent entry into the Indian market” and planned to start manufacturing in 2016.

The domestic car market has attracted billions of dollars in investment from overseas manufacturers such as General Motors, Ford and Toyota. However, Chinese car makers have not yet made any significant inroads.

China’s SAIC Motor Corp had owned 50 per cent of General Motors’ Indian operations but trimmed its stake to 9 per cent in October.

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

The company has a range of vehicles such as Great Wall C50 and Great Wall C30 sedans, Great Wall C20R and Great Wall C10 hatchbacks along with SUVs such as the Haval H6, H5 and M4.

The company has an annual production capacity of 8 lakh units and exports to over 100 countries. It has also set a sales target of 13 lakh units and a capacity target of 15 lakh units by 2015.

Beiqi Foton Motor Co has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maharashtra government to set up a facility at an investment of around Rs 1,670 crore over a period of five years to manufacture commercial vehicles, including medium and heavy trucks and passenger carriers.

Foton has a joint venture in China with Daimler AG for commercial vehicles.

 
 
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