Speaking to IndianAutosBlog.com at the Delhi Auto Expo, an animated Vikas Jain, Director of sales at GM India, gave insights into the future of existing and future GM nameplates. Let's dive straight into what Mr Jain had to say to IAB's queries.
Is there plans to transplant the 2.2-liter engine from the Captiva facelift into the Cruze?
No, it (2.2-liter VCDI) is only on Captiva. It is not coming on the Cruze.
When do you plan to bring the Cruze facelift to India?
Last year in February we came out with black interiors for Cruze. Change is a continuous process. Its (Cruze facelift) in the pipeline but when and how it is still to be decided. It is not in the immediate future.
Do you plan to introduce a petrol engine on the Cruze?
No, we're not going there.
Will the Tavera brand form an umbrella and cover the MPV concept shown here at the show?
The name of the MPV is still to be decided. There are lots of ideas. The point is branding, concept and marketing strategy get frozen three months before launch and there is still time to reach there.
Left - Chevrolet Orlando; Right - Chevrolet Trailblazer concept clicked by IAB fan Arjun Shrie in Dubai.
What about the Orlando's chances in India? After the Aria fiasco, is GM India wary of launching a premium MPV?
We want to focus on the Chevrolet brand and the range (price range) focus is up to Captiva. Whatever there is in the pipeline let's first get it in place. Let's get rocking and use our capacities to the fullest and additional vehicles will be in the subsequent years!
Is the company considering a diesel engine for the Spark?
Not yet, no plans as such. The diesel engine on the Beat is suiting it well. It delivers 25.4kmpl (making it India's most fuel efficient car). We need the volumes coming in there first. There is no more addition in Spark. The biggest challenge for Spark is to maintain the cost and the segment is very price sensitive. We need a look change than engine change. We need to be focusing on price.
What is the future of the Aveo/Aveo U-VA? What is the fate of the Sonic twins in India?
The Sail twins replace the Aveo twins. For Sonic twins there is no comment as it is still in the process (laughs).
What do you plan to do with the C Segment given so many new models have been launched in this area?
In the lower medium segment there's an overall contraction. The volumes have been consistently going down. They are being eaten away by the SUVs to an extent. The SUVs are expanding (in this segment). There is a marked shift. SUVs are getting hotter by the day.
Will you make use of the Indo-Thai FTA and bring in a competitively priced Trailblazer SUV?
You have a point but there are a lot of things that have to be considered before taking decisions. Many possibilities are being worked on right now and the point is whatever the customer wants we have to get it by the end of the day at the right time and right price.
We thank Mr Vikas Jain and GM India for giving us the opportunity to discuss the company's plans and strategy. GM has lined up a slew of products in 2011 and we wish them the very best.
[Chevrolet Cruze facelift image sourced from AutoForum.cz]