Hyundai Motor’s unit to buy General Motors’ India plant

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Hyundai Motor Co’s Indian unit will buy automaker General Motors’ Talegaon plant in the western state of Maharashtra, a move that will allow the U.S. automaker to exit the country as well increase Hyundai’s annual production.

Through its Sriperumbudur facility outside Chennai city and now the Talegaon plant, Hyundai aims to increase its cumulative production capacity to one million units per year, it said on Wednesday. The company had a production capacity of 820,000 units in the first half of this year.

The South Korean firm said it intends to upgrade the existing infrastructure at the Talegaon unit and start manufacturing in 2025. The plant currently has an annual production capacity of 130,000 units.

Hyundai, India’s second-biggest carmaker by sales, did not mention a deal value.

This deal will allow the U.S. automaker to exit India. GM stopped selling cars in the country in 2017 after years of dwindling sales but its complete exit from the market has been marred by complications, including legal tussles with workers and failure to find a buyer for the plant.

In 2019, GM agreed to sell the plant to China’s Great Wall Motor but talks collapsed after the companies failed to obtain regulatory approvals amid New Delhi’s scrutiny of Chinese investments.

Last week, Hyundai said it plans to launch more electric vehicles (EVs) under the Hyundai and Kia brands in India, in a sign that it is betting big on the world’s third-largest auto market.

It plans to invest $2.45 billion to beef up EV production in the country and is bullish on the local appetite for EVs.

(Reporting by Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)