It is no secret that GM India is mulling the launch of the SAIC-developed Sail sedan in India to settle scores with the Tata Indigo Manza, Toyota Etios and Maruti Dzire. Chevrolet has been outpaced by the competition in the B+ segment as the Aveo twins, with outdated styling and petrol engines, are no match to the fuel efficient and updated diesel sedans.
Even with the class-leading 3-year maintenance pack, the Aveo has not contributed significantly to GM India's sales composition. The blame is completely on the absence of a diesel engine and GM India is apprehensive about tweaking an old platform to provide the diesel option to customers.
GM has not provided cosmetic upgrades to the Aveo either. About three years back, GM gave the Aveo twins an edgier styling makeover globally which has not made an appearance in India.
With Maruti is making good progress in developing the next generation Dzire using the new Swift platform and Toyota ready with the Etios diesel, alarm bells have gone off at GM India who are keen to secure a decent share of this market. The Sail sedan, spotted here at a parking lot in unknown Indian location, is the first image of the Chinese vehicle on Indian soil.
The Sail was developed by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), both GM-SAIC joint ventures. During the launch, the Sail was described as a car for Chinese buyers to realize their dream of owning a car.
Under the hood, GM will use its version of the Fiat Multi-jet diesel engine. The SMARTECH technology combined to the 1.2-liter and 1.4-liter S-TEC petrol engines could make up the remaining line-up although the former might be reserved for the hatchback.
GM India has invested boat loads of money into alternative fuels and LPG/CNG technology are bound to be used on the Sail sedan in the future.
Stay tuned to IndianAutosBlog.com for more details.