China's largest SUV maker Great Wall Motors on Wednesday announced its foray into the Indian market with a commitment of $1 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) and a full portfolio of products that includes SUVs from its Haval brand across different segments and electric vehicles under the GWM brand.
Great Wall is the second major Chinese auto manufacturer to enter India after MG Motor's debut last year. The first of Great Wall's vehicles, expected to be H9 SUV will go head to head with Toyota Fortuner, will be launched in 2021. In January, the company had signed an agreement with General Motors to acquire the latter's Talegaon factory with an annual capacity of 1.37 lakh units in Maharashtra.
"India has become one of the world's fastest growing major economy, and the auto market is promising, making it a preferred investment destination for most auto companies. At this 15th edition of the Auto Expo 2020, we are introducing our global intelligent SUV brand - HAVAL and plan to cover the complete range of SUVs, which will be the preferred choice of the young, dynamic and new generation consumers of India," said Hardeep Singh Brar, Director (Sales & Marketing), GWM.
The company's investment in India includes vehicle research and development, production of power batteries and electric drives, vehicle and component manufacturing and will provide estimated 3,000 direct employment in a phased manner.
Founded in 1984, GWM has invested more than $1.5 billion for research and development of technologies such as new energy, intelligent network connection and autonomous driving and building exclusive platforms and product line-up for new energy vehicles.
At the Auto Expo in Greater Noida, the company displayed its full range of products including the Haval: H9, F7, F7x, F5 and electric cars iQ (401 kilometer range) & R1 (351 kilometer range). It also unveiled the Haval Concept H Plug-in Hybrid Electric SUV and the Vision 2025 Pure Electric SUV.
As the domestic passenger vehicle industry is witnessing a steep downturn, Chinese automakers have turned their attention to the market. India is poised to become the third largest vehicle market in the world by 2025.