General Motors expects a new hatchback to help double sales of its Opel Corsa models in India this year, Bloomberg News reported.

The company yesterday unveiled the Opel Corsa Sail hatchback to add to saloon and estate car versions of the same platform. The hatchback version will help double total Corsa sales to 14,000 units, Aditya Vij, managing director at General Motors India, told Bloomberg News.

General Motors sales in India rose 7% to 8,568 units last year and also sells the Opel Astra sedan in India, the news agency noted.

Bloomberg News said GM plans to spend 1.8 billion rupees ($US38.2 million) this year to introduce new models in India as rising urban incomes and the lowest ever interest rates encourage consumers to buy more cars in a country where only six in 1,000 own a car.

According to Bloomberg News, the company started selling Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s Forester sport utility vehicle in March and the Opel Vectra sedan in December. It's sold about 80 Foresters, under the Chevrolet brand, in India, and more than 300 Vectras so far, Vij told the news agency.

The Corsa Sail hatchback will be sold with 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre petrol engines, both common to the other variants at prices ranging from 439,000 rupees to 465,000 rupees for the more powerful version, Bloomberg News said.

The Corsa models sold in India are the ‘old model’ similar to those marketed in China and Latin America. The company sells a newer, redesigned and larger Corsa line in Europe and Australasia. In England this line is known as the Vauxhall Corsa while, in Australia and New Zealand, it is the Holden Barina.