The COVID-19 outbreak, as expected, is affecting the advent of new automakers in India. Changan, one of the biggest Chinese automakers, has delayed its India entry by a year, as per a new report from The Economic Times.
Changan didn’t participate in Auto Expo 2020, but just like Great Wall Motors (with Haval) and FAW (with Haima) planned to enter India by 2022. The company wanted to partner Group Landmark, a prominent auto dealer principal that runs Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Jeep outlets currently, for selling its vehicles in our market. However, sources in the know-how of the latest developments have told the business publication that it has put this plan on hold.
Instead of setting up its manufacturing plant in India all by itself, Changan may consider partnering with a local manufacturer now, in order to lower the risk involved in the investments because of the increased uncertainty in the market.
Changan's earlier plan was to form its own manufacturing and distribution companies and invest close to INR 4,000 crore in the Indian operations. Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh state governments were trying to strike a deal with Changan for its first plant. The company was having discussions with several vendors to establish a vendor park in Tamil Nadu (in Chennai). However, the suppliers found the demands extremely difficult to meet.
Media reports and official announcements towards the end of 2019 indicated that 2021 and 2022 will see several Chinese automakers arriving and plenty of Chinese auto launches in India. The COVID-19 outbreak seems to have made the most upcoming and new Chinese automakers rethink about being bullish in our market.
In January this year, it was reported that Changan plans to enter India with Changan CS75 Plus, a C-SUV like the MG Hector. At least the decided first model should remain unchanged. The company had unveiled the Changan CS75 Plus compact SUV in April 2019.