China's SAIC Motor Corp will set up a passenger car manufacturing facility at Halol in Panchmahals district of Gujarat with an investment of Rs. 2,000 crore. The Chinese auto major today entered into an MoU with the Gujarat government to establish the plant at Halol, around 160km from here, where MG brand cars will be manufactured. The company expects to invest over Rs. 2,000 crore in the next five years and begin production from 2019, a government release said. The MoU was signed between SAIC Motor officials and state government representatives in the presence of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, it said.
The facility will come up at the same place where General Motors earlier had its plant, said M K Das, Gujarat's principal secretary, industry and mines department. The project will create 1,000 jobs in the state and enable five auto ancillary firms - Yan Feng, Huichoung, Waling Industry, Ling Yun and Sevic - to set up their units in the vicinity, creating more employment avenues, the release said.
SAIC Motor plans to bring the MG car brand in India by 2019. The Chinese firm had earlier said it plans to operate in the country through a fully-owned subsidiary, MG Motor India, and appointed ex-General Motors India head Rajeev Chaba as its president and MD. It has also roped in auto industry veteran P Balendran as executive director. As part of India entry plans, the company would introduce environment-friendly mobility solutions under its iconic 'MG' (Morris Garages) brand.
Earlier this year, SAIC signed a 'term sheet' to evaluate buying the Halol plant of General Motors in Gujarat after the American company decided to stop production as part of consolidation of manufacturing operations in India. In 2009, SAIC had bought 50 per cent stake in General Motors India during the bankruptcy crisis faced by the US auto major. Later, GM had bought back the stake.
SAIC is ranked 46th in the Fortune Global 500 list of companies with an annual revenue of over USD 100 billion.
The introduction of the iconic British sports car brand 'MG' in India is an important part of SAIC Motor's global strategy, the company had earlier said. The MG brand, which originated as a British racing sports brand in 1924, has evolved into a modern-day innovative brand. MG products, designed and engineered at its European and global design centres, will be manufactured in India while conforming to global quality standards and aligning with the Indian regulations, emission norms and driving conditions, the company had said.