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        General Motors eyes North East as next potential market

        Roger Dsouza

        Roger Dsouza

        Even as the overall car market is on a decline in the country, General Motors India is hoping to see a growth of 8 percent in the North Eastern region. P. Balendran, the Vice President of General Motors India, said “North East is an important and emerging growth market for General Motors. In terms of sales, it contributes as much as 32 per cent of the total sales in the Eastern region with Assam contributing a major part of the share.”

        General Motors eyes North East as next potential market
        General Motors eyes North East as next potential market

        Currently, North East has a share of around three per cent in the total annual sales of the company. Last year, General Motors India had recorded a total sales count of 92,435 units. Reportedly, Assam is the most prominent region of the North East as it has a share of approximately 60 per cent in the overall sales. With regards to the firm's expectation from the North East, Balendran said that the sales in this region is growing steadily at a rate of 5 per cent, even in unfavourable market conditions, and is expected to reach around 8 percent by the end of 2013.

        On this, Balendran further added, "All our models, regardless of the fuel type, have significant demand in the North East. In Assam, diesel and petrol both are accepted well.” He said that the Beat, a small car, and Sail hatchback are popular in the region and thereby, generate good demand.

        General Motors India made its foray into the North East region in the year 2004, when it opened its first showroom. The company plans to expand its dealership network in the area with newly opened outlets in Nagaon and Tinsukia. It is also planning to open two more outlets and service centres in Tezpur and Jorhat cities. At present, GM India has a total of 14 sales points and service outlets in the North East region of India. The auto maker also has a warehouse, located in Guwahati, which has a capacity of 350 cars. The states covered by the company in the North East includes Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim, among others. A reported increase of 39.83 percent was recorded in sales for May 2013 as the company sold 8500 units as compared to 6079 in the previous year.

        While things are looking bright in the North East, the country saw a fall in growth for the seventh consecutive month in May, which is a record. SIAM, the industry body, warned that a continuous decline might result in negative repercussions on jobs in the automobile sector. According to statistics by SIAM, the sales count of domestic passenger cars for the month of May was 1,43,216 units this year as compared to 1,63,222 units last year.