General Motors is looking at a “multiple increase” in vehicle parts sourcing from India, chief executive Rick Wagoner was quoted as saying by Reuters on Tuesday.


Separately, Bloomberg News, citing GM Asia-Pacific president Nick Reilly, said the automaker expects to buy Indian vehicle parts worth $US1bn a year after four or five years. Indian components cost half that of Europe’s, he told Bloomberg in an interview.


According to Reuters, Wagoner said India would be the world’s second-fastest growing auto market over the next decade. “Half of (the population) is under 25 years, so there’s a lot of potential buyers for everything,” Wagoner said.


The news agency noted that annual passenger vehicle sales in India are forecast to nearly double to 2m units by 2010, on the back of rising incomes and new launches from the world’s top car makers.


“We are not only focusing on leveraging our supply base to suit our local needs, we are also looking to source more parts out of India to supply our global operations,” Wagoner said at a business conference in India, according to the report. He added: “We hope to increase our sourcing significantly over the current level, perhaps as much as five-fold over the next two years.”


Reuters noted that GM, which aims to have 10% of the fast-growing Indian market by 2010, makes the Corsa, OPTRA, Aveo and the Tavera multi-utility vehicle at a plant in Gujarat state, which has a capacity of 85,000 units, and is building a second plant in western Maharashtra state with an initial capacity of 140,000 units, and has said it may build an engine and transmission plant as well, as it tries to wrest share from Maruti Udyog, Hyundai Motor and Tata Motors.


Honda and Toyota are also aiming for a significant share, Reuters added.


Over the next 10 years, emerging markets within Asia Pacific region alone are predicted to account for nearly 70% of global automotive sales growth, Bloomberg cited Wagoner as saying.


Three of the top five and eight of the top 15 fastest-growing auto markets over the next decade are expected to be in Asia Pacific, Wagoner reportedly said, and each would require a separate plan.


“We have had big successes and some which haven’t worked out well,” Wagoner said, according to Bloomberg News, adding: “We have learnt a lot of lessons from new markets. One lesson is, one size doesn’t fit all. Every market is different.”