How General Motors India plans to reinvent itself with half a dozen new cars

Snapshot – In the United States, the ‘General’ came back strongly from a debilitating bankruptcy, but in India, the losses continue to pile. For an automaker who has been around in the Indian car market for nearly 2 decades, the General Motors (GM) story here doesn’t make for a pretty picture. The automaker finds itself at the bottom of the pile when it comes to the numbers game, with most Chevrolet badged cars often being third choices or worse, as far as buyers are concerned. Time’s running out for Ex-Maruti and Ex-Hyundai man Arvind Saxena. A turnaround is the need of the day if GM wants to make its Indian operation a success, especially considering how large a market China is for this American automaker. So, how does General Motors plan to reinvent itself in India? Here is the plan!

2015

Trailblazer Luxury SUV

Chevrolet Trailblazer

The Chevrolet Trailblazer is being tested on Indian streets. ahead of a launch later this year. The Trailblazer is a 7 seat luxury SUV that is likely to be assembled in India, through the CKD kit route. Considering that this big, butch vehicle is cheaper than the Captiva, General Motors India could be onto something if they manage to price this SUV close to the 20 lakh rupee mark. A 2.8 liter Duramax turbo diesel engine with 200 Bhp-500 Nm on tap is expected to power the Trailblazer, which is likely to pack in rear wheel drive and four wheel drive layouts. 6 speed manual and automatic gearbox options will be on offer.

2016

All-new Cruze sedan

All-New 2016 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan 1

Early next year, at the Indian Auto Expo, the India-spec all-new Cruze is expected to be revealed. The car has just been unwrapped in the United States, and sits longer and lower than its predecessor. A new 1.4 liter turbo petrol engine has also made its debut with the car. The Cruze gets roomier on the inside, despite losing a full 113 kilograms of flab. The additional room covers up one weak area of the car. If General Motors can get the new car to handle well, we’ll have a Hyundai look alike car that can actually hold its own against German competition. Remember, the potent 2 liter Z-Series turbo diesel engine is still the Cruze’s best friend.

Spin Compact MPV

Chevrolet Spin MPV

Another promising bow tie badged car that wants to take India on a spin is the Spin MPV. The compact people mover will gun for the Maruti Ertiga and the Honda Mobilio even as the Chevrolet Enjoy hasn’t gone great guns here. The Spin’s distinct look, replete with body cladding and a spare wheel on the hatch lid, give it the stance of a crossover. Even the Renault Lodgy Stepway would find it hard to counter the butch appeal of the Spin, in a country where MPVs mean large vans. The Spin is likely to be offered with petrol and turbo diesel engines. To speed up the Spin’s launch, General Motors is said to be importing an entire assembly line from Indonesia.

2017

New Beat hatchback

M2 platform based 2016 Chevrolet Spark
M2 platform based 2016 Chevrolet Spark used as an illustration

 

Noticed something in the sub-heading. Yes, we’ll get the new Beat hatchback in 2017, but not the all-new Beat. The B-Segment hatchback will continue using the M300 platform as the global Chevrolet Beat/Spark’s M2 platform is deemed to be too expensive for the Indian market. The new Beat is said to get extensive changes though, a-la-the 2015 Ford Figo, which is one more car that’s fashioned out of an older platform. The petrol engine on the new Beat could be a 1 liter-3 cylinder unit, with a turbo bolted atop while the 936cc, triple cylinder turbo diesel motor could cotninue unchanged.

Adra compact SUV

Chevrolet Adra Compact SUV Concept 4

The Adra compact SUV, which was showcased in concept form at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, will make its production debut in 2017. The Amber platform is said to form the base of the sub-4 meter compact SUV offering, the first such vehicle from the GM stable for the Indian car market. The Adra is likely to square off against the Ford Ecosport and the Maruti Suzuki YBA. If the Adra gets enough traction, the Chevrolet could be on firmer ground. However, 2017 is a long while away given the number of sub-4 meter offerings that are India bound in the interim. Will it be a case of too little, too late? We’ll find out when the Adra comes along.

New compact sedan

Chevrolet Compact Sedan Silhouette
An illustration!

 

The Amber platform is also expected to spawn a new compact sedan with the bow tie on the bonnet. This compact sedan could share parts with the Beat, which means that the Amber platform could be a continuum of the M300 platform that the current Beat hatchback is based on. The compact sedan will have plenty of rivals. From the Maruti Suzuki Dzire to upcoming offerings such as the Ford Figo Aspire and the Volkswagen Polo Stuff, the Chevrolet compact sedan will be against stiff competition. Will the car be more successful than the