GM India snippets
It may have entered bankruptcy protection in the US, but General Motors still has ambitious plans for India. The auto major plans to develop a small car at a possible price tag of under Rs 2 lakh—its cheapest globally. Nick Reilly, GM group V-P said that the company was looking at developing a car from India that would be positioned below the ‘Spark’ mini-car. “I would say we are studying that... and (we) do think there is an opportunity for something below the current mini- car offering Spark,’’ Reilly said. However, it would “not be a Tata Nano equivalent’’, he added. While there is no independent confirmation, it is believed the company is targeting a price tag below Rs 2 lakh for this car and apart from India, it could well be positioned in similar foreign markets like Latin America, eastern Europe, Africa and even possibly China. Asked whether India would be the lead market for the research and development of the new car, he said “Yes, it is.’’ Karl Slym, president of GM’s Indian arm, confirmed that any new car positioned below the Spark (costing Rs 2.66 lakh ex-showroom) would be the cheapest car for GM globally. As it works its way out of bankruptcy in the US, GM has reiterated that markets like India and China would be key to its revival, especially when numbers remain depressed in the home market. Reilly also said small cars would be the key to growth in the future and GM would focus more on their development. The news of the parent going bankrupt had impacted GM’s sales in India while also making it difficult for the company to raise money from financial institutions to fund its expansion plans. “It hasn’t been easy in India to raise the money. Frankly, we have found difficulties from Indian financial institutions, but we have not given up... Majority of the fund remains to be raised. It might take us little longer, but the opening of the plant is largely on schedule. It may be delayed by a month or two,’’ he said.
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