General Motors India is keen to introduce its LCV range in India by 2011. The commercial vehicles and cars will be launched from the stables of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) by the end of next year.
If you recall the events of the recent past, General Motors had since tied up with SAIC in a 50:50 joint-venture. GM and SAIC will be investing in millions at the Halol plant in Gujarat to manufacture LCVs.
GM India President and Managing Director Karl Slym told reporters, “After the partnership with SAIC, GM in India has a wider menu to choose from with products from SAIC also available. By the end of next year or early 2012, we plan to launch LCVs in one-tonne capacity, which could be simultaneously followed by passenger cars”. While the passenger cars from SAIC will be sold in India under the Chevrolet badge, he said the company is yet to finalise on the branding of the LCVs. Initially, three models of cars will be launched, but no disclosures were made about the LCVs.
Slym said, “The company has not finalised any figures, but on an industry average it takes about USD 50 million per vehicle to change the tooling on an existing plant.” He also said that GM India will export the LCVs to other markets, mainly in South America and possibly in South East Asia.
GM India currently manufactures the Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet U-Va, Chevrolet Aveo, Chevrolet SRV, Chevrolet Optra Magnum, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Tavera and Chevrolet Captiva at its two state of the art facilities in Halol and Talegaon.