General Motors is one of the top guns globally when it comes to the world of automobiles but the American manufacturer has been struggling for long in one of the hottest emerging markets of the world, India. GM’s car sales in India are dismal to say the least and the frequent recalls are not helping the cause either. However, General Motors is making positive noises about it wanting to get back into the volumes game. The American automaker is said to be working on an all-new platform, which has been code-named “Amber”, for emerging car markets including India. The new platform will spawn three new cars in India – a premium hatchback, a compact sedan and a compact SUV.
Interestingly, these three segments are the fastest growing ones in India and in similar markets such as Brazil, Thailand, Mexico and Russia. Mary Barra, the CEO of GM is said to be following the development of the project closely, which is being undertaken in Europe and Brazil. The Amber platform is being developed with the expectations of a global volume of 1.2-1.5 million cars every year, with India making up roughly 150,000 units of this entire volume.
“With regards to India, the priority is on the compact SUV, but the platform will also have a premium hatchback and an entry level sedan. The projects are likely to be launched in India and Brazil concurrently or within a matter of 6 months,” a person close to the development stated. The cars based on the Amber platform are expected to arrive into the Indian market by 2018. Projects under the new Amber platform are expected to be launched in India and Brazil concurrently in the next six months.
Notably, General Motors runs a well oiled Research and Development effort at Bangalore, India, and this center could be a major contributor to the Amber project. All said, it remains to be seen whether General Motors’ Chevrolet Adra compact SUV, which was showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, would be included in the upcoming Amber platform. These announcements are in line with General Motors’ plans of launching an all-new product in India after 2017.
Until the new products based on the Amber platform arrive into India, General Motors is expected to continue running the show here with facelifted models, and also the next generation versions of cars such as the Beat and the Cruze. Also, the automaker will go gung-ho on exports from India. General Motors’ Talegaon factory, off Pune, has begun exporting the Beat hatchback to South America. Expect this facility to get a larger role on the exports front in the times to come.