By Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI, March 13 (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Co said on Monday it had agreed to a possible acquisition of General Motors’ Indian plant, a move that could finally allow the U.S. automaker to leave a country where it has stopped manufacturing vehicles. in 2017.

A final agreement is subject to certain conditions, including obtaining “regulatory approvals from relevant government authorities and all interested parties related to the acquisition,” Hyundai said in a statement.

GM stopped selling cars in India in 2017 after years of declining sales, but its full exit from the market was marred by complications, including legal disputes with workers and the inability to find a buyer for the plant. , located in the western state of Maharashtra. .

In 2019 GM agreed to sell the plant to Great Wall Motor in China, but talks broke down last year after the companies failed to secure regulatory approvals amid increased scrutiny from New Delhi. on investments from Beijing.

GM and workers at the plant – who allege unlawful dismissals after the company’s decision to leave – have also been locked in legal battles since 2021. In the latest setback, in January, a union sued Indian Unity of GM and its global executive chairman for non-payment. court-ordered severance pay to dismissed factory workers.

GM previously said its employees were legally separated and it remained confident in its legal position.

India has been a tough battleground for Western automakers, especially Americans, who have struggled to break the dominance of Japan’s Suzuki Motor and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor, which together hold 60% market share . Like GM, Ford Motor has also ceased operations in India.

The acquisition will give Hyundai a second factory in India, allowing it to increase its production capacity at a time when it plans to launch six electric vehicles in India by 2028. (Reporting by Meenakshi Maidas in Bengaluru; Editing in Spanish by Carlos Highlander)

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