Argentum Motors, India's largest independent automotive contract manufacturer has announced that it has signed definitive documents for the acquisition of a controlling interest in the iconic French automaker, Heuliez S.A. The Commercial court of Bressuire approved today, the "safeguard plan" (plan de sauvegarde) proposed by Argentum and Groupe Henri Heuliez and Heuliez SA.
As part of its proposal, Argentum Motors will invest up to 25 million Euros for an initial stake of 60% in the French company. CDC (Caisse des Depots et Consignations) has also committed an investment of 5 million Euros into Heuliez.
Heuliez has sales in excess of Euro 200 million and was founded in 1925. The company is known for its cutting-edge auto design and for designing and building vehicles and automotive components for leading companies such as Peugeot, Renault, Citroen, General Motors, EADS and Daimler Benz. The company has over 25 years of experience in designing and building electric cars.
As part of the re-structuring, Heuliez will be spun-off into three companies - Heuliez Electric, Heuliez Engineering & Design and Heuliez Manufacturing.
Heuliez Electric will build electric vehicles under the HEULIEZ brand for the global market. The company will also engage in international programs with global players to develop cutting-edge electric vehicle technology and vehicles.
Heuliez Engineering & Design will work closely with Argentum Engineering & Design to integrate Heuliez expertise with Argentum delivery capability to build a global automotive design company.
Heuliez Manufacturing will utilise its facilities in Cerizay, India, Spain and Slovakia to build cars and automotive parts for the global market. The company will support Argentum by distributing Argentum products in Europe, leverage Heuliez's patents in retractable hard top technology and support Heuliez Electric in the manufacture of electric vehicles.
Welcoming the development, Mr Ajay Singh, Chairman, Argentum Motors, said, "This investment provides Argentum with a strong distribution platform to engage with European auto majors. It will enable Argentum Engineering to leverage Heuliez's design business to build a truly global automotive design company. Through Heuliez, Argentum will emerge as a world leader in the design and manufacture of electric vehicles. We are delighted with this investment. We are confident that Heuliez and Argentum together will make a tremendous impact on the global automotive world."
Mr Gerard Queveau, Chairman, Supervisory Board of Groupe Henri Heuliez, said, "This is a new beginning for Heuliez. The entry of Argentum will bring new opportunities and open new markets for Heuliez. The new Heuliez will be French but will also be a strong global citizen. I am especially excited about the prospects of Heuliez Electric. I am confident that this company can now focus on building cars and technology that will revolutionise the automotive world."
About Argentum Motors
Argentum is India's largest independent automobile contract manufacturing facility with substantial assets in the automobile world including capacities in automobile and mechanical engineering. The group is run by individuals who have many years of experience in the automobile business. The promoters include Mr BVR Subbu, who has been the President of Hyundai Motors India Limited since 2002 and has been largely credited with the growth of the company. Mr Subbu has over 25 years of automobile industry experience. Mr Ajay Singh is a leading entrepreneur in India credited with the establishment of several businesses including a low cost airline.
The French Heuliez Group is specialized in the turnkey development and production of niche vehicles, derivates and Body In White modules and has a rich history in product technology. With more than 360,000 retractable hardtops produced since 2000, over 85,000 Opel Tigra TwinTop assembled and more than 250 patents filed, the Heuliez Group is the leading manufacturer and developer of this technology. Founded in 1925 and based in Cerizay, France, Heuliez counts more than 1,100 employees in France, Spain and the SlovakRepublic. Heuliez has commercial representation in Germany, Korea, Japan and China.