General Motors upcoming launches in India: Six new cars

General Motors India is planning to launch six new models in the next two years.

GM India is optimistic about the growth rate of the Indian car market. The market response for all sorts of car models belonging to different segments, such as compact and luxury, has been excellent and GM believes that the upcoming products especially in the utility segment from GM’s line up will be the logical way increase market share in the country. Expect launches of some electric cars and utility vans from the GM in the next two years.

GM India’s vice-president sales and marketing Sumit Sawhney said, “We are quite optimistic about the Indian auto sector and as a major player we are present in almost all the segments from mini cars to SUV. However, we feel we need to extend our products in the utility segment and we are planning to launch one product in the next 18-months.”

Taking the Chevrolet brand to customers in tier II and tier III cities of India is going to be the focus at the moment for the company, in order to increase its market share. Chevrolet Beat, Spark and Cruze have been doing reasonably well in the big metros.

With more dealerships and a wider service network, the sales of cars could increase further. GM has so far opened 10 showrooms in tier II cities and dealers there have reported a 100% sales growth. The response has been promising for GM India.

GM has invested close to $100 million to produce light commercial vehicles. GM is planning an increase in production of its small cars Spark and Beat at its Halol facility. The Talegaon factory of GM will start producing engines by mid November 2010. The company targets to produce 16,000 units annually and there are plans to expand the production further.

Sawhney said the company is exploring opportunities to enter all the segments of the market to try and become a market leader. The company will be showcasing GM’s first electric car Volt early next year.

GM will roll out the Chevrolet Volt for the US market this December. In India, Chevrolet Volt will be showcased in 2011. However, the launch of this electric car in the country is yet to be officially announced.

GM-SAIC, a joint-venture, earlier announced that it would launch small trucks. In the intrest of costs and quality GM is ensuring that all the vehicles to be sold in India will be assembled locally only. Sources say that GM will launch a passenger van first which will compete with Maruti Eeco, Tata Ace Magic and Tata Venture.

At present, General Motors has quite a wide range of products in India. In the small car segment, Chevrolet Spark, Aveo U-VA and Beat are available. In the sedan segment, Chevrolet Aveo, Optra and Cruze are offered. GM provides Chevrolet Tavera in the MPV segment and Chevrolet Captiva in the premium SUV segment. Spark, Beat and Cruze are GM’s top sellers in India.