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US auto giant General Motors on Thursday said that it has decided to stop selling its cars in India by the end of 2017. The company, however, said that it will make India an export hub and will continue to make cars at its Talegaon plant near Pune for export purpose alone. These cars will be exported to Mexico and South and Central American markets.
The decision comes at a time when India is set to become the world’s third largest auto market in the next three to four years with passenger vehicle sales expected to cross five million units annually from the current three million plus units. The new announcement also follows the company’s decision to close down its Halol plant in Gujarat.
GM India saw its sales dwindling from a peak of over one lakh units during 2011-12 to a low of less than 26,000 units in FY17. Even the parent General Motors had to withdraw its $1 billion investment proposal in India as was announced by its CEO in 2015 owing to the falling domestic sales. The company has been selling cars such as Beat, Trailblazer among others under Chevrolet brand only in India.
Despite its presence in India for more than two decades, the company had failed to make an impact on the domestic market for want of products suited to the local market together with a weak distribution network when Maruti and Korean chaebol Hyundai made strong inroads through their India specific products and strategies. FE