GWM fires all Indian employees, wraps biz

After two and a half years of hanging on the edge, China’s largest SUV maker Great Wall Motor (GWM) has fired all the 11 Indian employees working in different departments of the company.

“All the 11 Indian employees were sent a meeting request and given the pink slip on  June 30. The employees were given three-months advance salary from July to September. They have also been paid variable pay for six months,” said a source close to the development. None of the employees was offered an alternative to work or relocate at any other location, another source said.

The latest move comes after the US automaker General Motors (GM), which stopped selling cars in India at the end of 2017, also called off the sale of its shuttered Talegaon plant in Pune to GWM as their agreement, which was extended twice, expired on June 30, 2022.

In January 2020, GM had struck a deal to sell the plant to GWM, with the Chinese SUV maker expected to pay up to USD 300 million as part of a broader plan to invest USD 1 billion to establish a presence in India’s growing car market. However, after the escalation at the border and amid a tougher stance by the Indian government towards investments from China, things did not go as planned. As a result, GWM failed to obtain regulatory approvals following the new FDI regulations that came into effect from April 2020.

In March this year, Kaushik Ganguly, Director, Strategy & Planning at GWM quit the company. He had joined the Chinese SUV maker in Oct 2018 as the first senior-most employee of the company and worked out the company’s entire business plans for India, including its brand and product strategy. Exactly a year ago, in March 2021, Hardeep Singh Brar, Director – Sales and Marketing had also resigned from the company to join Kia India.