GM India plans new launches, mass hiring for 2009

January 23rd, 2009 - 9:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) General Motors India has chalked out ambitious plans for 2009, including new launches, developing powertrain facility and mass hiring for its research and development centre, a top official said here Friday. GM India president and managing director Karl Slym said the company was in the final stages of launching compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) variants of its cars.

GM India is also setting up a new powertrain facility in Maharashtra for manufacturing indigenously developed diesel and petrol engines.

Slym said the company has already tied up with another firm for integrating CNG and LPG kits in its vehicles.

The car maker, which captured an additional half a percent market share in 2008 taking its tally to 3.4 percent of the Indian passenger car market, is planning to launch its new compact - the Chevrolet Cruise - this fiscal.

The Cruise, first demonstrated at the Paris Motor show in 2008, will be launched by the middle of 2009, while its small car will be launched by the year-end, Slym said.

Not just that, the Detroit-based auto giant also has plans to launch its Cadillac brand of vehicles in India. However, it has shelved the launch of the Hummer for the time due to the economic slowdown, Slym said.

“Our short term strategy is to sustain the bailout package and reduce our debts while the long term strategy will be centred around our products, plan and skill,” Slym said.

GM currently has two plants operating at Halol in Gujarat and at Telegaon in Maharashtra, respectively. The company is developing the Telegaon plant for manufacturing the powertrains.

“We will also hire 300 engineers for research and development at our Bangalore technical centre for working on the powertrain technology being developed here,” he said.

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