GM expects more sales with Beat’s diesel version

June 23rd, 2011 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) With the upcoming launch of the diesel version of its best seller hatchback car Beat, American automobile major General Motors (GM) expects its sales to soar in the current fiscal.

“With the launch of Beat diesel, our company’s sales growth would be double of what the whole market growth is,” Karl Slym, president and managing director of General Motors India, told reporters here at the company’s showcase event for Beat electric prototype vehicle, which the company is developing as a clean energy car.

According to Slym, the diesel version of its hatchback Beat would add the missing product in the company’s portfolio.

“We required this version. Because if you look at the composition in this segment, its 80 percent diesel and 20 percent petrol,” he said.

Slym also said that the slow-down in the automobile sector due to high fuel and interest rates would have a short-term impact while underlying growth potential would be enough to tide over these conditions.

“India has like eight cars per 1,000 people. We have great underlying potential and demand in the country, the slowdown is for short term,” he said.

Slym’s confidence in the Indian car market can be judged by his company’s decision to launch five cars and 14 variants, including commercial vehicles, in the country by the end of next year.

“We will be launching a commercial vehicle in our planned launches in India, which includes five new cars and 14 variants.”

Meanwhile, the company said that it has shelved its plan for a small entry-level car below its hatchback car Spark.

“We have shelved that plan. You won’t see anything below Spark from our side,” Slym added.

On the Beat’s electric prototype, he said: “We are delighted that Chevrolet selected India as an important market to test battery electric technology, while recognising the capabilities of our engineering team to help identify ways to make this technology more affordable.”

The car is powered by a 300 cell lithium-ion battery with a total energy capacity of approximately 20 kWh (kilo watt hour).

The 270 kg battery can power the Beat for at least 130 km under normal driving conditions. The charge lasts for less than 8 hours.

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