INDIA: GM eyes another small car
General Motors is considering another small car to complement the existing Chevrolet Spark [aka Daewoo Matiz], according to senior executives in India for the off-line ceremony of the first Spark out of the new plant - GM's second in India - in Talegaon.
Local media noted that GM Asia Pacific head Nick Reilly had said all car manufacturers had three to four small cars and GM would add another car in its portfolio while Henderson added that it would not necessarily be a smaller car.
GM India could eventually use surplus capacity to export its cars, joining the likes of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, whose local plants are 'export hubs' for some model lines, and Nissan, which will produce the next-generation Micra (March) for Europe there.
India would be a hub for small car manufacturing, Reilly said, adding: "There is no reason why it should not be so for GM." Though Korea exports cars of all sizes, India could be competitive only in exports of mini or small cars, local reports said.
"We foresee [Talegaon] producing additional vehicles from the GM portfolio," Reilly said.
Though GM India has started testing bio-diesel engines in its Chevrolet Optra model, Reilly reportedly said biofuel is not an option for the immediate future. "CNG/LPG makes more sense at the moment," he said.
GM India would look at OEM-fitted CNG/LPG kits rather than dealer-fit products, GM India head Karl Slym was quoted as saying. "Customers were not comfortable with dealer fitted kits," Slym said, adding that this was why the automakers had stopped selling a CNG Optra.
General Motors India has also launched the updated Chevrolet Tavera Neo-2, aiming to consolidate its position in the Indian multi-utility vehicles segment.
The automaker expects the new model to raise monthly sales from 1,700-1,800 to about 2,000 units.