Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Energy, which announced its plans to foray into the EVs and energy storage segments in August last year, seems to have found the place for production. Emerging reports indicate JSW Energy and General Motors (GM) are in advanced talks and the former may buy GM's plant at Talegaon in Pune.
American auto giant General Motors which sold cars in India under the Chevrolet brand till the end of 2017 is now using the Pune plant only for exports. The company manufactures Beat hatchback and sedan versions for the North and South American markets. If the report is anything to go by, the move will mark General Motors' complete exit from India.
In February 2018, they signed a pact with Maharashtra for setting up a manufacturing unit for electric vehicles (EV) and Energy Storage Systems in the state. The possible acquisition of GM's Pune plant seems to be in line with this pact.
"What I know is that JSW is in talks with GM to buy the plant... there have been discussions. Originally, PSA was also interested but their talks fell through," the publication quoted a source as saying.
GM's Talegaon plant is valued anywhere between Rs 3,000 crore and Rs 3,500 crore and is spread over 300 acres. The car plant that opened in 2008 has an annual capacity of 130,000 vehicles. General Motors India also owned a plant in Halol, Gujarat. The company closed the Halol factory in 2017 and it was eventually acquired by China's largest automaker SAIC Motor Corp. They will make cars under MG Motor brand for the Indian market from 2019.
In addition to the pact with Maharashtra government, JSW Energy Ltd had signed an agreement with Gujarat government to promote the production of battery operated vehicles in the state along with the production of the electrical battery, storage solutions and charging infrastructure last year. The project is worth Rs 4,000 crore and it is expected to provide employment opportunities to over 6,000 local people.