GM India will launch its much awaited diesel powered Chevrolet Beat on July 25, following the high demand for diesel powered variants with the widening gap between diesel and petrol prices.
The MD and head of GM India, Karl Slym, was quoted as saying that the due to the fluctuating fuel prices in India, their new diesel variant Beat will help bring about a revolution in the small car market, with its fuel economy and engine capacity. The company managed to sell a total of 1.1 lakh vehicles in India last year. They are doubling their growth in India, in comparison to the industry average. They are also expected to sell around 1.4 lakh cars across all variants in India this year, an increase of above 30%.
Slym also mentioned that with increasing demand for their cars, especially in rural areas, they would be increasing their service and sales network to around 300 locations by year end. On increasing their production capacity, he said that their Halol plant in Gujarat that has a production capacity of 1 lakh vehicles per annum, could be able to add an additional 1.4 lakh vehicles, whereas their Talegaon plant in Maharashtra has an annual production capacity of 1.4 lakh units in its first phase, which will go up to 3 lakh vehicles following completion of its 2nd phase after 18 months.
Slym also said that so far they have made an investment of $1.5bn in the Indian auto market. They plan to invest an additional $250mn each in their two manufacturing facilities over 1.5 year’s time. Having around 2,500 engineers at their Bangalore Technical Centre for development and design, GM meets 90% of their worldwide requirements from India. They exported just 2% from India to Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, according to Slym was also added that they didn’t have plans of opening a manufacturing plant in South India.