Bangkok – GWM (Great Wall Motors) officially signed a share sales and purchase agreement with GM (General Motors) to acquire GM’s production facilities in Rayong, Thailand, as the company pave way to make Thailand its ASEAN production base for domestic and export for new energy vehicles and internal-combustion engine models.
With a plan to begin its production in the first quarter of 2021, GWM is set to transform Thailand and the region’s automotive industry as part of its vision to be a “Global Mobility Technology Company”.
GWM’s move to set up its production base in Thailand kicked off in February this year when the company started negotiation with GM to acquire, under a signed binding term sheet, GM Thailand and GM Powertrain Thailand legal entities, which include the Rayong vehicle assembly and powertrain facilities.
The two companies have reached a conclusion recently and officially signed the Share Sales and Purchase Agreement (SSPA), represented by Elliot Zhang, President, GWM ASEAN & Thailand, and Joseph Urso, Director of Corporate Development, Global Mergers & Acquisitions, GM International. Rayong plant is remarked as the eleventh full-scale automobile manufacturing base of GWM worldwide.
lliot Zhang, President, GWM ASEAN & Thailand, revealed, “while ASEAN automotive industry is clearly on its growth trend, Thailand has strong fundamentals as a leader in this industry and is regarded as one of the world’s best locations to establish an automobile production base, thanks to its readiness in terms of workforce and well-developed automotive ecosystem.
Upon handover of assets as a result of the signing, this engine and vehicle production hub will be renovated and undergo system upgrades to become a smart factory by GWM’s global standards for an automobile production hub. It will boast GWM’s expertise and capability in SUV and pickup truck production, including advanced powertrain technologies, giving it the ability to produce internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and electric vehicles such as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Moreover, it will be fully equipped with production automation innovations and technologies, such as AI, to maximize operational efficiency.
GWM will also invest in production equipment and product research and development for Thai and Southeast Asian markets as well as skills development of the production workforce.”
GWM is expanding its business and brand presence across the world with a vision to be a “Global Mobility Technology Company” that enhances people’s lives with technology and innovation. Currently, the company has 10 R&D centers in 7 countries and operates 15 factories worldwide where Thailand will be the latest addition.
Thai production hub will become operational in the first quarter of 2021 with automobile production capacity of 80,000 units per annum. In addition to bringing job opportunities to people and growth to the automotive supply chain, the new investment by GWM will contribute to R&D progress in support of Thailand’s automotive industry development and help spur related industries to enable continued growth of the Thai economy at large.
About the author
Zhong Li is a tech journalist who covers the latest developments in artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology. Zhong Li is passionate about exploring the ethical and social implications of emerging technologies.