Sunday, 17 July 2011

Chevrolet van launch in 2012 marks SAIC Motor Corp Indian car market entry



General Motors (GM) a global name to reckon with in the auto industry somehow never found its stronghold here despite 15 years of Indian operations. In fact, they, have only just crossed the 1 lakh sales figure mark in 2010 when they sold 1,10,804 units. This of course was a great improvement as GM sold only 69,579 vehicles in India in 2009. But all that is now set to change. Managing director of GM India, Karl Slym has said, "We will capture 10% market share [up from the present 4%] by 2012-13."
The company had announced an investment of Rs. 2,000-crore earlier this year to be spread over the next 3 years. This would enable production capacity increase to 4, 00,000 from the current 2, 25,000 units. GM looks forward to six new launches in India, and is working towards trebling vehicle sales in the Indian car market. These strategic changes are seeing the light of day because General Motors’ Chinese partner - SAIC Motor Corp stepped in as a 50% JV partner for their Indian subsidiary when GM went bankrupt.

The Indian car market will soon see a Wuling minivan variant with an expected 2012 launch, here’s a vehicle that has already driven in huge sales volumes in China. GM India will also launch two light commercial vehicles (LCVs) from the SAIC range at the start of 2012. This Chevrolet vehicle will be a Halol plant undertaking and is to be segmented with Maruti Suzuki Eeco, and Tata Venture, but may come at a premium price. Since the Indian auto market is almost choc a bloc with auto manufacturers, GM India will have to work on product differentiation to create a product portfolio that offers something more. The yet to be launched one-ton pickup truck will lock horns with Mahindra Maxximo, and Tata Ace.

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