If we talk of growing trends, here is one that certainly happening. Car makers appear to be targeting tier II and tier III markets. We saw it in the case of Ford, which has just opened 13 dealerships in these markets. Now GM India is pursuing a strategy to improve sales in rural markets.
GM India chief Karl Slym had this to say to Financial Chronicle -
We expect sales to move more towards the rural segment in coming years. Sales contribution from rural areas used to be much smaller earlier
higher rural sales witnessed by the industry in general and GM’s rural network expansion were the main reasons for higher rural sales last year. Last year, 60-65 per cent of our network expansion by 100 dealers happened in the rural areas. The automobile industry is also doing much better in the rural areas now
The Chinese will also be entering the Indian commercial and passenger vehicle markets by 2011. Recently, Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC) took a 50% stake in GM India and will enter the Indian market in 2011.
Mr. Slym added -
We will be setting up a new network for commercial vehicles in main purchasing areas once the SAIC vehicles come in. The company also plans to introduce passenger cars, multi-utility vehicles and sports utility vehicles through SAIC in the future.
We are looking to get to 300,000 units of vehicle sales through SAIC as well as the products under the Chevrolet brand in 2012
There is talk of new cars in the offering as well. GM will offer cars in all ranges based on the 300 series platform. Currently, Beat and Cruze are the only offerings in the 300 series. GM has planned to introduce a SUV and Mid-Sized car in this series by 2012.
Speaking on the new cars, Mr. Slym added -
We will have one of each of all the 300 series cars in each segment. The Chevy SUV will come in by the end of this year. It will lie in the same vein as the Captiva SUV. As for the mid-sized car, we have both body styles (large hatch and sedan) available in the menu. It will lie between the Beat and Cruze, more around the Aveo space. It is expected to come in next year.
That is very good news for the market. A mid-sized car from GM in both the hatch and sedan avatars and in the Aveo category. Hopefully, GM should not make the same mistake on this one as the Aveo. Please get the package and pricing right.
We think the SUV in the Captiva category is not a good idea. All the action is happening in the small, mid and premium hatch/sedan segments and GM should concentrate in these segments. We know Captiva is a good product and another SUV in the same lines will be packed well, but it is not where GM needs to be at this point in time. Instead, how about phasing out the Tavera and replacing it with something that can really take on Innova or Xylo?
Source - Financial Chronicle