Arvind Saxena is the New President & Managing Director of GM India

General Motors recently announced the appointment of Arvind Saxena as the new President & Managing Director of GM India with effect from 1 March 2014. Arvind will succeed Lowell Paddock, who is moving to GM International Operations (GMIO) as Vice President, Planning & Programme Management.

“We are delighted to have Arvind join our team and with his extensive experience, lead us in to a successful future in India, with its significant growth potential. GM is committed to India and with Arvind’s leadership, we look forward to recognizing the long-term growth potential of the market” said Stefan Jacoby, GM Executive Vice President and President, GM International Operations.

Arvind has more than two decades of experience in sales, marketing and management with several Indian and global automakers. He began his career in 1983 as an Area Manager in the Motorcycles and Scooter Division of Escorts Ltd. He moved to Bajaj Auto in 1992, where he held the post of Regional Manager of North India. Three years later, he joined Maruti Udyog as Regional Manager of Western India. After a year at Fiat India in 1999 as General Manager, he returned to Maruti as General Manager of Sales and later was promoted to Chief General Manager of Sales.

Volkswagen Polo GT TSI

Prior to his appointment at GM, Arvind was Managing Director of Passenger Cars (VW brands) and a member of the Board of Directors of Volkswagen Group Sales India.

Arvind has a Bachelor of Engineering Degree from Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Lucknow University.

Lowell, who has led GM India since January 2012, joined GM in 1992. He has held senior positions in planning, programme management and marketing in North America, Europe and Asia. He was GMIO Vice President, Planning & Programme Management, before assuming responsibility for GM India.

Stefan also thanked Paddock for his leadership at GM India in the last two years.

General Motors India unveiled the Chevrolet Adra concept and the new Beat hatchback

General Motors India has unveiled the Chevrolet Adra concept and the new Beat hatchback at the 12th Auto Expo. These are two of the models on the list of the vehicles that stood on the Chevrolet stand at the auto show. The Managing Director and President of GM, Lowell Paddock has said that he is proud of introducing the products of one of the fastest growing vehicle brands, Chevrolet. In order to meet the domestic preferences and needs, many of the products have been engineered locally. This is also an indication of the company’s commitment to the Indian market.

One of the best selling models in India is the Chevrolet Beat. The new Beat hatchback has new standards of styling. The exteriors of the car have been upgraded along with a new chrome accentuated front grille. This new Beat also features new glass headlamps with black accents, trendy foglamps with chrome surround, sporty taillamps of colored glass, spoilers with LED inserts and a dual tone rear bumper. Depending on the variant of the car, the Beat also has steering mounted audio controls for the convenience of the driver, height adjustable driver seat and new silver interiors. The car will be offered with diesel, petrol and LPG variants. The all new Beat will have a price tag between Rs.4 – 6.1 lakhs.

Chevrolet Adra concept

The Chevrolet Adra concept SUV has been developed by an Indian designer and is making its global debut at the Auto Expo. In order to cater to the needs of next generation car enthusiasts, the SUV offers all round visibility, high ground clearance, exceptional interior space and a high seating stance. Paddock has pointed out that this new concept SUV is the achievement of a local designer contributing to the growing SUV segment.

Chevrolet Beat

1.14 lakh units of Tavera recalled by General Motors India

Since quite some time, General Motors India is trying to get the production of its best sellers in the country, back on line. The company had spotted a quality issue with its Sail sedan and UVA hatchback. The company also spotted some emission problems with the Tavera BS III. Now it has been revealed that GM India has recalled 1.14 lac units of Tavera BS III and BS IV together, sold between 2005 and 2013.

The production of Sail has stopped on the 5th of June while the company stopped with Tavera BS III on the 6th of June. Vice President of General Motors India, Mr. P Balendran had said that “As part of General Motors’ stringent manufacturing and quality control processes, we have identified a potential emissions performance issue with the Chevrolet Tavera BS-III and a quality issue with the Chevrolet Sail HB & NB Diesel variant. Neither issue is safety-related. Since GM is committed to product excellence, we have temporarily suspended production of these vehicles.”

The company had clearly mentioned that the BS IV Tavera is not affected and it will continue with its sale and production. But again in July, the company spotted some specification related issue with the Tavera BS IV diesel variant. The production of Tavera BS IV, thus, came to a halt on 2nd July. The company has already informed the government officials regarding these issues and has already chalked out a recall plan. A company official said that “General Motors India (GMI)… is voluntarily recalling the Chevrolet Tavera BS3 (2.5L variant) and BS4 (2.0L variant) from model years 2005-2013 to address emissions and specification issues.”

1.14 lakh units of Tavera

A recall of 1.14 lac units is probably the biggest in India so far. The Managing director and President of GM India, Lowell Paddock said that “Our customers are at the centre of everything we do. Exceeding their expectations begins with designing, building and selling the world s best vehicles that endure over time.”

Recently it was revealed that GM India will resume the production of its Sail sedan and hatchback diesel variant by the end of July while Tavera BS III will be resumed by the end of August. GM is still investigating about the Sedan Sail and may opt for a recall if required.

The company has said that they have found a solution to solve the emission and specification problem related to Tavera model and the governing bodies have been notified about the same. The solution requires to be validated and approved by the government. The company said that “After the proposed solution receives approval from authorities, General Motors will resume Tavera production and sale, and move forward with its recall and customer notification plan for both the BSIII and BSIV models.”

The customers of these 1.14 lac vehicles will be notified by the company and the cars will be repaired free of cost at GM India’s 280 dealerships all across the nation.

This is not the first time that a company has recalled a product on such a large scale. This policy to recall faulty products voluntarily from the market was made by SIAM. . Till then 2 lac units of cars have been recalled by various automobile companies. Maruti Suzuki had recalled 1 lac units of its A model to solve a problem with the fuel pumps. Ford has also recalled 972 units of its star car, EcoSport. Recently Yamaha has announced that it will recall around 56,082 units of its Ray scooters due to a handle bar issue.

This recall policy was heavily criticized in the past but now it is being widely accepted as the manufacturers have understood that customer satisfaction is the top most criteria if they want to stay in the market in the long run.

GM Plans to Sell Approximately 250 Units of Sail U-VA in The State Of Gujarat

General Motors India (GM) is making plans to sell around 250 vehicle units on a monthly basis of its latest offering named, Chevrolet Sail U-VA, in the state of Gujarat.

The new vehicle Chevrolet Sail U-VA, which was designed and fabricated in the Indian market, was rolled out in the city of Ahmedabad on November 17.

Mr. P Balendran, vice president, corporate affairs of GM India stated, “We have fabricated the vehicle comprising the engines here in the domestic market, and have considered to take in India specific customizations in the vehicle in addition”,

GM Plans to Sell Approximately 250 Units of Sail U-VA in The State Of Gujarat
Mr. P Balendran also said that the Chevrolet Sail U-VA is roomier as compared to the majority of its rivals in the section. The fuel tank is situated in the center with the aim to take full advantage of the internal space.

The Flex Flat foding back seat augments the room in the rear to around 1,134 litres, he added up.

He also said that General Motors India proposes to sell approximately 250 vehicle units of Chevrolet Sail U-VA in the state of Gujarat at first.

The B section is one of the best ever rising sections in the auto business in the nation.

As Balendran puts it, “We are anticipating sales of about 50,000 cars on a monthly basis in the B section. It is the biggest and the fastest rising section in the passenger vehicles business in the nation. It climbed up by around 48% in 2011.”

The company has placed the Chevrolet Sail U-VA in the middle of the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai i20.

The Sail U-VA has been valued appealingly between the price tag of Rs 4.4 lakh to Rs 6.62 lakh.

“With the intention to enhance customer buoyancy, we are also providing a 5 year warranty on the engine as well as transmission, which is a segment first”, Mr. Balendran said.

The auto maker proposes to end the existing fiscal by selling more than 100,000 vehicle units in total.

General Motors India registers records number of sales in the month of February 2012

General Motors India has made a record number of sales in February 2012.The total sales figure was 8901 number of vehicles for February this year.

The diesel variant of the Chevrolet Beat got the thumbs up from the consumers for being the most fuel efficient car. The vice president of General Motors Mr. P. Balendran said that due to the slow moving market the sales were not up to the expectation.

Automobile market is currently facing lot of pressure due to the hike in fuel prices, high rates of interest rates, hike in prices of the commodities, negative market sentiments and the growing rate of inflation. The industry can again run in full-fledge if they get an industry friendly budget this year.

Total sales figure of individual cars in February was as follows:

  • Chevrolet Beat:          4684  units
  • Chevrolet Travera:   1964   units
  • Chevrolet Spark:        1328  units
  • Chevrolet Cruze:        537    units
  • Chevrolet Optra:        273   units
  • Chevrolet Aveo:          90     units
  • Chevrolet Captiva:      25     units

General Motors India registers records number of sales in the month of February 2012

The officials also said that to meet the unique needs of the consumers they always try to add unique features and unique models to their range of cars. Chevrolet always tries to keep their commitment made to their customers and they have huge number of distribution network so that they can always stay in close touch with their end users. Now the company is looking to expand its sales in India in the coming times.

GM India Aims to Expand Production Output by 80%

General Motors India will be hiring 1,000 new people by 2012 as they look forward to increasing their production capacity to 4.1 lakh units in a year, up by 80% at their two facilities. It was recently reported that the manufacturer which has two plants at Talegoan, Maharashtra and Halol, Gujarat is going to invest around $500mn  by 2012 year end as they plan to strengthen their R&D activities and increase their production capacity.

The MD and President of GM India, Karl Slym was quoted as saying that they are investing around $500mn for expanding their production output at both their Talegoan and Halol production plants. They will probably be adding 1,000 people in order to meet these requirements by next year end.

The additional recruitments will reportedly include new recruitments for their R&D division located in Bangalore. Slym also added that most of the new employees are to be inducted at their two plants. GM reportedly employs 4,000 people, of which half are employed in the company’s R&D activities in Bangalore.

The company will increase production capacity at their Halol plant to 1.1 lakh units per annum compared to the 85,000 units produced currently. Meanwhile, their Talegoan plant will produce around 3 lakh units compared to the 1.4 lakh units produced currently. Slym further added that construction activities are currently being carried out at their plants so as to increase their production capacities. Both these plants will receive an investment of $250mn each by 2012.

They were also reports about the company is planning to expand their capacity so that they can roll out commercial vehicles of their Chinese partner SAIC in India by 2011 year end. According to Slym, commercial vehicles from their Chinese partner’s portfolio are to be produced at their Halol plant, one each for cars and commercial vehicles.

Slym reportedly said that their company is intending to sell around 1.5 lakh models this year, in comparision to the 1.1 lakh units sold last year. He reportedly said that the market looks good so far and they expect it to grow further. Their target is to achieve sale of 3 lakh models in the year 2013. In order to achieve this target, they hope to sell 2 lakh units in the year 2012.

Cadillac to be part of GM India’s Indian operations

A new detail has surfaced out that General Motors India are finally planning to bring in their much esteemed and lauded Cadillac brand to India. If our gray cells remind us correctly, General Motors had showcased the Cadillac brand in the Delhi Auto Expo in 2008. General Motors India’s MD and CEO, Karl Slym has mentioned recently that the Indian roads would soon see an influx of Cadillacs along with the many other luxury brands roaming in India. In India as of now, GM’s biggest car is the soft roader, the Chevrolet Captiva. With the influx of the Cadillac brand, GM India would get a strong position in the luxury segment. GM would also be able to position itself as a luxury brand in here.

It is most likely that GM India would enter the Indian luxury car market with the Cadillac CTS sedan as this boxy sedan with very large rectangular head lamps for that broad wide grille which is all chrome laced as also housing the somewhat controversial Cadillac badge, is perfect for the Indian market. The large wheel arches plus those 19 inch wheels lend a bold statement to this car. However its rear tail lamp design is similar to that of the Tata Manza and this means that the car wouldn’t be as distinct as one would like it to be. However this car has a better put interiors than the rest of its class and that includes the likes of BMWs, Mercedes and Audis. The Cadillac CTS would get a massive 3.6 liter petrol engine which produces 304 Bhp and is guaranteed to give scintillating performance. The car would also come with all modern creature comforts.

Marching done by General Motors India

General Motors India are one of those manufacturers who have been going about doing their work silently and at the same time achieving big time success. They recently got a new flexible engine facility at Talegaon, near Pune. Flexible because it is the only one of General Motors India or for that matter General Motors across the world, that can manufacture petrol as well as diesel engines at the same time. The inauguration was attended by Principal Secretary of Industries A.M.Khan, Chief Secretary J.P.Dange, President and Managing Director of GM India Mr.Karl Slym and the Union Minister of Heavy industries and Public Enterprises Vilasrao Deshmukh. The company has invested about Rs.1,000 crore and is expected to produce 1,60,000 engines a year. The plant also has provision for further expansion. Notable is the fact that it would produce engines for all of General Motors India’s small cars this side of the Chevrolet Aveo. Commendable is that all other plants by the company have been winning the greenest plant award by the Indian government three years in a row and the new plant at Talegaon would only complement the other centers in this aspect.

The other main news from the company is that they have got a BS4 compliant engine in their old work horse, the Chevrolet Tavera and it would be re-christened the Chevrolet Tavera BS4. The company would be employing ICML’s 2 liter CRDI engine which is BS4 compliant. This engine is actually picked up from Rover and was used by ICML in their Rhino SUV. The new Chevrolet Tavera BS4’s engine now makes 123 Ps of peak power and developing about 220 Nm of torque. This vehicle would be on the road by February or January 2011 by the earliest and may be one of the cleanest MUVs on the road today. The world is becoming a costlier place to live and this is evident from the fact with the rising costs of car manufacturing inputs. In this case, the low priced GM products would be costlier but only by a bit. This is because of the rising input costs of rubber, steel and other raw materials. The new pricing strategy would be in effect from January 2011.

General Motors India are also looking forward to slot in a smaller engine in their bread and butter Chevrolet Spark model. The reason for this was to position the Chevrolet Spark as a more cost effective proposition to the Alto K10 and the smaller Tata Nano. Not that the company would have to produce an all new groundsup engine since they already have one in their overseas Spark model. The current 1 liter one would also doing

duties and would be a more expensive option for those looking for more power. This engine would be launched by January 2011 in the Indian market. To accommodate for the growing number of cars in their portfolio, the General is looking to increase its dealer network by a good 240 units overall. This target should be achieved by end of 2011. The first step to this was taken by Mr.Karl Slym who inaugurated two new sales point and also 4 service points in the Mumbai area recently.

Speaking of new products, the company is all set to strew the Indian car field with its various new models. This is because of the recent Chinese SIAM agreement. Over the period of next 2 years, atleast 6 new cars would be launched in the Indian market. These cars may be entirely from the General Motors stable or from the new Wualing range. One can expect to see  a notchback, small car, hatchback, SUV, a pick up van and also a van on the lines of the Maruti Eeco. The latter car has been already been extensively tested in Nashik in Maharashtra. Going by the look of it, it seems that the car is as spacious as the Maruti Eeco however its interior fit and finish wouldn’t be a patch on the Maruti. The van overall looks very tough and would be priced lower than the Maruti offering. The other new models that we can think as of now would be the Chevrolet Aveo which was displayed at the New York Motor Show. It looks similar to the Chevrolet Beat however more spacious than what the baby could offer. These cars would undergo the homologation process as well as trials in the Company’s Bangalore R&D facility. As far as localization goes, the company would be making this cars with about 90% localisation. This would enable the cars to be priced very competitively. An all new SUV from the Wualing range would be on offer as early as February 2011 and it would go head on with the Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari.

Speaking of the Chevrolet Beat, General Motors India would introducing the much demanded diesel engine under the hood of the small car. Mr. Karl Slym confirmed that there would be a diesel motor under the hood of the Chevrolet Beat as well as LPG variant by April 2011. The diesel motor would be a 1 liter one with 3 cylinders and would be very fuel efficient. This diesel engine has been designed in Europe by GM and would be made at the new recent plant in Talegaon. It would have a heavy percentage of localization and this same car with slight modification would also be exported to the international markets. Another new car which the company is planning to launch in the Eco mindset of the Indian car buying public is an all electric car. This was after the debacle of the joint venture between GM and Reva. The former has been working overtime on getting an electric car to India from their range of international Electric cars to India. The company has taken a leaf out of their short association with Reva and has done their homework in the fact that small towns would like electric cars more. This mini electric car would be on display in the Delhi Motor show scheduled on April 2011. Gauging by the response of the Indian public, GM would think of launching this car in India and at a very competitive price than what the Reva is been offered at.

GMI completes target for the fiscal year 2010

The fifth largest car manufacturer in India, General Motors India {GMI} are quite on a roll these days. They have successfully launched two of their global cars first in India and both have been runaway success. So much so that they have crossed the 1,00,000 unit mark on November 27, 2010. This is considering that the year has yet to come to an end. It is the first time that General Motors India have crossed the mark of 1,00,000 units in the 7 years that it has been in India. It has been said that the company have reported a growth of over 63% from the start of year i.e. January 2010 to November 2010. Last year, General Motors India had sold only 61,321 units.

The positive change in the sales chart is due to the introduction of new General Manager for the Chevrolet brand, Mr.Karl Slym. He was the pioneer in launching two of Chevrolet’s global platform cars namely the Chevrolet Cruze and the Chevrolet Beat. Due to their catchy styling, good performance and value for money proposition, both the cars made it to the top of the car buying public’s list. Couple that with Chevrolet Cashless Ownership offer, promise to deliver quality and performance and innovative marketing initiatives, you can never go wrong with them. To cope up with demand, General Motors India have commissioned a state of the art power train facility in Talegaon. This facility boasts of dual engine plant as it can handle loads of both diesel and petrol engines at the same time. This was also awarded the most green plant by the Government of Maharashtra. General Motors India will most likely develop an all new diesel unit for their Chevrolet Beat car. There would also be a petrol variant coming up for the Chevrolet Cruze car. There would also be the Chevrolet Aveo Sail sedan and hatchback coming in late 2011.

We already have reported about the shoehorning of the ICML Rhino’s 2.0 liter engine been put into the BS4 Chevrolet Tavera and this face lifted MUV would be launched early 2011.