Snapshot – In India, General Motors (GM) is stuck in a rut. Almost all of the American automaker’s Chevrolet branded cars are doing badly in India in terms of sales figures. A Chevrolet is no longer favoured as a possible contender by new car buyers and this is not good news for a brand that wants to grab 5 % of the Indian car market by 2025. The automaker has just unveiled a turn around strategy for India, which will include new car and SUV launches as one initiative, and also making the country an export base. We’ll look at the former today, and check out the five new cars and SUVs that GM has lined up for India.
TrailBlazer Luxury SUV
The TrailBlazer is a big, butch, 7 seat SUV based on the Chevrolet Colorado pick up truck. The TrailBlazer will arrive into India later this year and test mules of the SUV have already been spotted in the country. The vehicle uses a ladder frame design as it is based on a pick up truck, joining the likes of the Toyota Fortuner and the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. A 2.8 liter-4 cylinder turbo diesel engine will power this vehicle.
This motor is capable of outputting about 200 Bhp-500 Nm, making it the most powerful in its class. In Thailand, the TrailBlazer sits under the monocoque bodied Captiva in terms of positioning, and is about 20 % cheaper. If General Motors India takes the CKD approach and assembles the TrailBlazer in India, a price tag close to the 20 lakh rupee mark will be distinctly possible. At this kind of price, GM will have a winner on its hands.
The Spin is a rugged looking MPV, on the lines of the Dacia Lodgy Stepway, than say the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga or the Honda Mobilio. The word on the street is that GM will shift the production line of the Spin MPV, from Indonesia to India. Production of this vehicle is expected to begin next year, and the Spin is likely to sit above the Enjoy MPV in terms of price and positioning.
Petrol and diesel engines will be available on this vehicle, which will seat seven adults. The petrol motor will be a 1.5 liter-4 cylinder motor with 108 Bhp-140 Nm on tap, while the diesel motor will be the 1.3 liter turbocharged unit (77 Bhp-205 Nm) developed jointly by Fiat and GM. The key that the Spin holds is its rugged styling. If this clicks with the MPV buyer, GM may be onto something here as there’s no other such vehicle in the Indian market as far as styling goes.
Next Generation Beat Hatchback
The nex-generation Beat hatchback will be distinct from the global Chevrolet Spark that General Motors recently unveiled for international markets. In its next generation, the Beat will take a very Indian approach and will use the Amber low cost platform that GM is developing for emerging markets of the world.
Petrol and diesel engines are likely, with dimensions to better that of the current version. The all-new Beat is likely to take a premium approach and move towards more upmarket B+ segment hatchbacks. A 2017 debut is envisaged for this car.
Next Generation Beat-based Compact Sedan
While the next-generation Beat hatchback is one car that will be spun out from the Amber platform, two more are on the anvil. One such car is a new entry level sedan, tailored specifically for the Indian market. This indicates a sub-4 meter length for the new Chevrolet compact sedan, allowing General Motors to break into a big volume segment that hosts the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Tata Zest.
Volumes of scale are likely, as the sedan could be made in two sizes, a la the Ford Figo Aspire. The sub-4 meter offering will be specific to India while longer variants will go international. Also, parts and production facilities of the new compact sedan will be shared with the all-new Beat. Petrol and turbo diesel engines are likely to be offered with the entry level sedan.
Adra Compact SUV
The Adra compact SUV is one of the most important big volume vehicles that General Motors has lined up for India. Showcased at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo as a concept, 2017 is when the production vehicle of this compact SUV is likely to be realized. The Adra will be the third car on the Amber platform, with the new Beat and Beat based compact sedans making for the other two.
The Adra will also feature a sub-4 meter footprint. This means that the petrol engine’s capacity will be limited toi 1.2 liters, with turbo petrol power being likely. The diesel motor of this SUV will be a sub-1.5 liter unit. The 1.3 liter turbo diesel motor that GM has jointly developed with Fiat is likely to be on offer. In terms of price and positioning, the Adra is expected to be a Ford Ecosport challenger.