Posted: November 3, 2010 in News & Updates
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Upbeat on India’s automobile industry growth, General Motors (GM) plans to launch six new models in the domestic market over the next 24-months besides substantially hiking its marketing spend to boost sales, a top company official said.

The auto major already sells eight products such as Spark and Beat (mini cars), hatchbacks like Aveo UVA and sedans like Aveo, Optra and Cruze in the luxury segment. It also has the Tavera in the SUV segment.

“We are quite optimistic about the Indian auto sector and as a major player we are present in almost all the segments from mini cars to SUV. However, we feel we need to extend our products in the utility segment and we are planning to launch one product in the next 18-months,” GM India’s Vice-President (Sales and Marketing), Sumit Sawhney, told media on the sidelines of a company event here on Tuesday.

GM also announced Asha Bhosale as its goodwill ambassador for its music awards, to be conducted on November 10. Earlier, the US-based car-maker had announced that the company will be investing close to USD 100-million to manufacture Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs).

These uitility vehicles, a passenger carrier and one goods carrier, would be manufactured from the company’s Halol unit in Gujarat, that makes all its current models except Spark and Beat, which are made at Talegaon in Maharashtra.

GM would be making these utility cars, which can be compared with Maruti’s Elco or Tata’s winger , in a joint venture with top Chinese auto firm SAIC Motor Corp. Asked about its plans to enter into the electric car segment, Sawhney said GM would be launching 5 more models over the next two years.

“We are exploring all opportunities to enter into all the segments that would make us a market leader in the country. We will be showcasing GM’s first electric car Volt early next year, Sawhney said, adding that Volt would be launched globally in December.

He, however, refused to divulge any further details. On the marketing and promotional activities, Sahwney said the company’s focus going ahead would be on tier III and IV cities for the sale of its mini cars and hatchbacks.

“We see a tremendous potential in these cities and we have already launched mobile showrooms in 10 such cities. We will soon ramp-up the number. This campaign is to make people aware about the brand and we have got a good response from these stores. Our dealers have seen a 100 per cent jump in the volumes this month,” he added.

The company, that has gone for a brownfield expansion at Talegoan, will start production of its power train engines from the unit from November 12, he said, adding that the manufacturing capacity would be 16,000 units per annum and would be expandable.

The Economic Times (Web & Print Edition)


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