General Motors has revealed plans of shuttering its first ever plant in India located at Halol, Gujarat by April 2017.
The plant, which produced some of the vehicles sold in the country by GM India, was poised for a closure in mid-2016, but owing to opposition from the state government, the company decided to extend the closure deadline until March 2017. Now the company has said it will be closing its plant in April 2017.
The decision of extending the deadline from mid-2016 to March 2017 was made in July 2016 and at the time the company said it will continue production of vehicles at the Halol plant until March 2017 to ensure there is an orderly transition for employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. While the exact date of closure has not been decided on yet, it looks like it won’t cross the deadline this time around. GM India has made attempts to close the Halol factory in the past, but met with criticism by the Gujarat government, which rejected its proposal last year.
GM India officials have been in constant touch with the government of Gujarat regarding the closure and to discuss the exit modality after majority of 650-odd workers at the plant not accepting Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) offered in December, which promised 100 days of wages to the workers.
“GM has decided to close their plant as per their business decision. The state government has allowed the company to wind up its operation on the assurance that they would resolve all issues related to workers,” said JN Singh, chief secretary, Gujarat government.
350 regular workers have been transferred to the company’s Talegaon factory in Maharashtra while a there are a few who have found jobs elsewhere. GM announced in July 2015 that it would spend $1 billion in expanding its Talegaon factory in Maharashtra. Between the Talegaon and the Halol factories, the company manufactured the Chevrolet Beat, Chevrolet Sail, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Enjoy and Chevrolet Tavera.
The company is gearing itself for new launches in India and this plan includes the new-generation Beat as well as a crossover and sub-compact sedan based on the Beat christened Beat Activ and Essentia respectively.