General Motors targets 40 percent volume growth in 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

CHENNAI - The Indian arm of global car major General Motors is confident of growing 40 percent this year with new products like a diesel version of the compact car model Beat, a Euro IV-compliant multi-utility vehicle (MUV) Tavera and a light commercial vehicle (LCV), said a senior official.

“This year, we will launch the diesel engine-powered Beat model. This will give us good volumes. We will also be launching Euro IV emission norms-compliant Tavera and a LCV. In addition, we will introduce six new cars over a period of two years at an outlay of $300 million,” General Motors Indias Vice President P. Balendran told reporters here Monday.

The company will also launch an upgraded new Captiva model. The six new models, he said, would include a compact car, a sedan, a sports utility vehicle (SUV), a pick-up van and a MUV.

According to Balendran, the company sold around 1.10 lakh units in 2010, up from around 69,000 units in 2009.

Agreeing that the market was turning tough with the hardening of interest rates, Balendran said the passenger car industry was expected to grow 15 percent this year whereas General Motors India would grow by 40 percent.

Queried about Ford India zipping past General Motors India in terms of sales volumes last month, he said: That is mainly because we didnt have diesel version of Beat whereas Ford India has a diesel-powered Figo model. In terms of petrol-powered cars, our Beat has logged higher volumes than Figo. This year, we will launch the one litre diesel Beat.

In 2010, nearly 70 percent of the sales volume was accounted by two models - Beat and Spark.

According to Balendran, General Motors India was expanding its Halol plant in Gujarat by 15,000 units to over 100,000 units per annum to roll out LCVs.

In the LCV segment we are looking at two models - a sports utility vehicle (SUV) a sort of a van and a MUV or a pick-up van, he said.

Following the development of the Smartech engine in India, he said, localisation levels in the Beat would be over 95 percent. For other models, except the Tavera, the engines would be imported from General Motors, South Korea.

Engines for the Tavera would be sourced from the Sonalika group.

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