IN a blow to American auto giant General Motors in India, Chinese automaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) clarified on Monday that it has only signed a term sheet to evaluate General Motors India’s Halol plant near Vadodara and no formal agreement has been signed.
The clarification is contrary to numerous reports over the last few months stating that SAIC and GM had finalised an agreement for the sale of the Halol plant.
“SAIC has not signed any formal agreement with GM for the Halol plant. A few months ago, SAIC signed a term sheet to evaluate the plant, which has been conveyed in a filing to Shanghai Stock Exchange, SAIC being listed there,” an SAIC spokesperson said, adding that SAIC’s Halol plant deal is subject to GM’s submission of all government approvals and settlement of labour and all other pending issues by GM. Around 625 workers at the Halol plant have refused to accept a voluntary retirement package offered by GM India and several have been on a hunger strike since March 21 protesting against their transfer to Talegaon.
GM meanwhile has stated that it was working with employees, government authorities and labour unions to ensure an orderly transition. Production at the plant will end on April 28. However, SAIC has stated that its plans of entering the Indian market are unchanged.