GM India reveals aggressive expansion plans starting with Mini

04/02/2009 - 19:06 | Chevrolet,  ,   | Vibs

The success of its two hatchbacks - the Aveo U-VA and the Spark and new releases from other automakers - has spurred GM India to think of bringing the Chevrolet Mini sooner than ever!

GM is now working out all odds to bring in the 'Mini' and heat up the premium hatchback space. The Chevrolet Mini which is based on the Beat concept (showcased two years back in New York Auto Show) will come with frugal Petrol and Diesel engine options; expected to be positioned above the Chevrolet U-VA and priced around that range.

The Chevy Mini as it appears (in pictures), would be a large hatchback- possibly the largest hatchback India has seen (we'll leave out the SRV for now)! But this is just a speculation (a visual perception), as no dimensions have been revealed yet.

Once launched, the Chevy Mini will have to slug it out with other premium hatchbacks like Honda Jazz, Fiat Grande Punto, Skoda Fabia and the newly launched sales phenomenon Hyundai i20.

India to be the export hub for Chevrolet Mini

GM India President and MD Karl Slym

The new Mini will roll out of our Talegaon plant near Pune. With this new factory, our capacity will exceed domestic needs for the first time. India will be the export hub for the new Mini car. The mini will be locally made and not kit-assembled. So, we are moving away from the completely knocked-down kit assembly, with this product. The engine and transmission will come from our new powertrain facility and the new stamping plant in Talegaon will cater to this project

Powertrain facility to go operational in 2010

GMI's new powertrain (engine and transmission) plant, in which it invested $200 million (around Rs 800 crore), will crank out small petrol and diesel engines of 1- 1.5 litre range in 2010 when it will be commissioned.

This will go into our vehicles, including the new Mini, and also cater to export allocations,in addition he also said that "There is a lot of opportunity as business is tough and capital investment is restrained. So automotive companies are working as partnerships...we will look at both the GM family and outside for exports

Plans of offering multiple products under Chevy badge

Given that the small car market comprises more than 80% of India’s total car sales, GM is looking at tapping this market by offering multiple products under one Chevrolet badge. "The small car market is compartmentalizing into different segments and hence, our multi-product strategy," Mr Slym said.

10% growth for Chevrolet India in 2008

Chevrolet saw sales numbers of 65,000 units last year in the domestic market, which is a a growth of 10 per cent. These numbers have been achieved in spite of a two percent drop in overall passenger vehicle industry. The company currently boasts of a market share of up from 2.9 per cent in 2007 to 3.4 per cent in 2008.

Source: Economic Times

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