General Motors plans new launches in India

November 5th, 2008 - 8:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Nov 5 (IANS) Freed of capacity constraints, General Motors (GM) India plans to beef up its product portfolio with two new models next year, said a top company official here Wednesday.Declining to reveal details, GM India president and managing director Karl Slym told reporters that the new models would be a small car and a sedan.

“The small car may be in the same category like Spark or even cheaper. The other model will be in the Honda Civic segment. For the first time in the history of the company, we have excess capacity. This we will leverage,” he added.

The company’s new plant went on stream last month. Working on single shift, it has a capacity to make around 140,000 units, while its other plant at Halol, Gujarat, rolls out 85,000 units.

GM India, which has committed $200 million investment for setting up a plant to manufacture 200,000 engines annually, plans to export to Europe where there is a demand for small cars such as the GM’s Spark.

Attributing the slowdown in the car sales in India to the credit crunch, Slym said the new models would create good volumes for the company.

“It is only the new models that help car companies grow,” added P. Balendran, director and vice-president of corporate affairs.

Speaking about the company’s new multi-utility vehicle (MUV) Chevrolet Tavera Neo, he said: “Priced at Rs.958,000, the vehicle has 20 more features compared to old model priced Rs.8,000 less.”

The company hopes to sell around 20,000 Tavera units this year.

Ruling out the possibility of the company withdrawing the cheaper variant, Slym said both can coexist as there is demand.

He said apart from the two new launches, GM India would come out with variants of its existing models.

Against a target of 70,000 units, the company says it has sold around 58,000 units till October this year.

“We have sold 27,000 units of Spark, 16,000 units of Tavera. The Aveo U-VA sells around 800 units per month,” Balendran said.

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