Flash- Chevrolet Mini coming to India by year-end; Chevrolet Cruze by June 2009
Shrawan Raja, I'm the Founder & CEO of IndianAutosBlog.com. I love teamwork and talking about cars.
We've pulled this off the shelf, just as it appeared. Business Standard reports that GM's third hatchback in the country will be the Chevrolet Mini, better known as the Chevrolet Beat. The Chevrolet Mini will be positioned in the luxury hatch segment with cars like the Hyundai i20 and the Skoda Fabia (5-7 lakh rupees) proving tough classmates.
IAB readers will be aware that the Mini is taking longer to come as GM India postponed the small car's launch to December due to the economic meltdown.
The Chevrolet Mini was originally intended to be assembled in India, with CKDs imported from overseas, but that plan has been dropped in favor of making it here. GM is rushing to equip it's Talegoan facility in Maharashtra, to build this new small car, which we hear is undergoing optimization (probably the ride height, ECU, radiator all of it is getting tweaked in favor of Indian roads, fuel quality and weather) to suit Indian conditions and customers. Building the car locally will help lower the costs, something that demands very serious attention when selling a hatchback in a country like India.
We already informed you that the car will be available in petrol form as a 1.2-liter engine, now confirmed is the diesel option. IAB speculates this will be a 1.4-liter Common Rail engine, which will debut on the U-VA later this year. The chances of the 1.3-liter Multijet cannot be ruled out either, as GM has the permission to use it in its cars. Could GM use the 1.0-liter petrol engine from the existing Spark to make a cheaper Mini variant?
Shocker! The Chevrolet Cruze will not replace the boring Optra. It'll in fact cost twice the Optra and will battle in the D-Segment field with the Nissan Teana, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord! What the???
The Chevrolet Cruze will be manufactured at the company's Halol facility. It'll be among the few luxury cars in India to be erected in a production plant (most of them are CBUs). You can anticipate the Cruze's launch somewhere in June as now it has been officially confirmed by GM.
We always thought the Cruze would put an end to the reign of City, Corolla, Octavia and probably kick out the Linea for good. GM's future hinges on the Cruze, but given it's price in the range of the Camry's, that holds good only in America. Somebody tell us we are wrong.
Source- Business Standard