Aiming for a double digit market share in India,the US auto major General Motors is turning to small cars to shore up volumes in future.
Still a fringe player even 16 years after it entered the country,the company’s Indian arm,General Motors India,is also intensifying focus on dealership and service network expansion to become a significant player in the market.
“India is a predominantly small car market and we have to cater to the demands of the customer here. Going forward,our focus will be to meet those demand,” General Motors India President and Managing Director Lowell Paddock said.
Besides small cars,he said the company will also look to tap the growing demand for family-oriented multi-purpose vans (MPV) in India and in the second half of 2012,GM India will launch two new vehicles.
“One is a premium hatchback Sail and the other will be seven-seater a multi-purpose van. With these vehicles coming in we should be looking at good growth this year,” he said.
Elaborating the company’s future target,Paddock said: “At present we have only a single digit market share in India.
The aim will be to take it to double digit and become a significant player in the market.”
He,however,did not specify a timeline for achieving the target.
In 2011,GM India sold 1,11,510 units as against 1,10,804 units in 2010. As per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) domestic passenger car sales stood at 19,46,373 units in 2011.
Paddock said Sail will be the first of the vehicles from the stable of General Motors’ Chinese partner SAIC to be launched in India.
“The platform is SAIC’s but it has been engineered to suit the Indian conditions and address the demands of Indian customers,” he said,adding it will be launched in both petrol and diesel options.
The hatchback will be followed by a sedan version later,he said. The vehicle will be primarily for the Indian market but could be exported later.
Admitting that lack of suitable products and good after sales support had hindered its growth in India,Paddock said GM India will focus on delivering on those aspects.
“By the end of this year our target is to have 300 sales points and an equal number of service centres across India,” he said.
At present,GM India has 279 sales points and 272 service outlets. The company sells compact cars,Spark,Beat,U-VA under the Chevrolet badge along with sedans Optra,Cruze and Aveo. It also sells MPV Chevrolet Tavera.