General Motors play bullish on the Indian market, launch of 8 models on cards

Wednesday 10 October 2012, 10:05 AM by

General Motors, the American car maker, is looking ahead to introduce eight new models in the Indian auto industry within a span of 5 to 6 years. The announcement was made in lieu of the fact that the company has to increase its market share, which has remained almost flat from quite a long time.

As a part of expansion plan, the auto maker is considering a two-fold in its current production capacity at the Talegaon facility in Maharashtra, which will eventually help it to meet the surge in demand for its new models.

However, the Vice President (Manufacturing) of General Motors India, Rakesh Mohan Sabbarwal refused to share details of the new models as whether it will be hatchbacks, sedans or Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Speaking on the production plans of the company, Sabbarwal quoted, “We are currently in discussion for ramping up the capacity. In the second phase of expansion, the capacity of the Talegaon plant can be doubled, but nothing has been decided yet.”

The Talegaon plant is situated in a 300 acre plot and has a production capacity of 1.4 lac units, whereas the company’s Halol facility in Gujarat manufactures 85,000 units each year.

Reportedly, the Indian arm of General Motors will be introducing three new models before the end of 2012. The auto maker will be launching the hatchback model of Sail somewhere in October and November, which will be then followed by its sedan guise. Launch of Enjoy Multi Purpose Vehicle (MPV) before the end of this year is also in the list General Motors.

Besides, export of small diesel engines from India to other parts of the world is on the cards as well. On this, Sabbarwal said, “We have received requests from some of GM's operations in other countries to supply powertrains from here... We are under discussion.”

From India, GM has been receiving requests to ship 1.0 litre and 1.3 litre diesel powertrains, which are presently produced at its Talegaon facility. The engine plant was installed with a whopping investment of USD 230 million, which has the initial capacity of producing 1.6 lac units every year.

Coming back to launches, the auto maker has pinned high hopes with the Sail model, which will be introduced from the end of its Chinese partner SAIC. The President and Managing Director of GM India, Lowell C Paddock had said that this launch will surely expand its brand presence in the country and will pull in some decent volumes. He also anticipates that the upcoming hatchback will soon turn out to be the best selling model in India. Presently, GM’s Beat is the best seller in the country, which has clocked around 4,500 units in September 2012.

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