Five of these six introductions will be from Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), the Chinese car major and part owner of GM India. Of the four passenger vehicles, two will be midsize cars, one small car and one SUV.
The passenger vehicles will include the hatchback and saloon versions of the Chevrolet Sail, which has been designed and developed completely in China by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Centre (PATAC) and the new Captiva SUV. The production of the GM India’s commercial vehicles will be done at its Halol plant, where the annual capacity is being hiked from 85,000 to 100,000 units. Production capacity at its Talegaon plant will also be hiked from the current level of 140,000 to 300,000 units in the next few years. The dealership network is also being beefed up and the company plans to have 240 outlets by the end of this year from 211 now.
Localisation will play a key role in the market performance of the GM’s products. The company recently inaugurated its engine plant at Talegaon with an installed capacity of 160,000 units per annum. Slym says the new plant is GM’s first ‘flexi-engine’ plant which can produce both petrol and diesel engines. The engines produced at the plant will have a maximum displacement of 1.5 litres.
The powertrains that will be produced in Talegaon are being developed in General Motors’ technical centre in Bangalore. GM India has set up a 700-member team of engineers for powertrain development.
As for the models, GM India’s co-owner SAIC will now look at introducing its own models here. PATAC, – the engineering and development joint venture between GM and SAIC in China, will play an important role in the future product line-up of GM India, with GM-Daewoo Automotive Technology (GMDAT)perhaps playing a lesser role than earlier.