General Motors India had an almost negligible presence in the Indian B+ segment hatchback space when it was selling the Aveo U-VA hatchback, which struggled to even hit the three digit monthly sales mark. The Aveo U-VA, which was offered only with a petrol engine, is now history, and has been replaced by a spanking new car, the Sail U-VA hatchback. Developed by General Motors’ Chinese partner, SAIC, the Sail series is a big hit in China. GM India wants to replicate this sales success in India and is hence aiming at selling no less than 4,000 units of the Sail U-VA hatchback each month.
So, what does the Sail U-VA bring into the equation, that would help GM India achieve those figures, figures that the automaker hasn’t been able to consistently achieve with any of its cars in the Indian car market?
For starters, you have turbo diesel power. The biggest factor that contributed to the poor sales of the Aveo U-VA hatchback was that the car was available only with a petrol engine. With petrol prices shooting through the roof and almost every other B+ segment hatchback giving car buyers the choice of opting for the more economical-to-run option of diesel, the Aveo U-VA never stood a chance. With the Sail U-VA though, GM India has brought in one of the most popular turbo diesel engines in town, the 1.3 Liter JetTurbo Diesel(JTD) unit, also known as the Fiat Multijet engine, that GM and Fiat jointly developed a while ago.
This engine, on the Chevrolet Sail U-VA produces a peak power of 77 Bhp and a peak torque of 210 Nm. More importantly, the ARAI certified fuel economy of 22.1 Kmpl is what GM India will hope will attract buyers towards sailing in the Sail U-VA. The other factor that the Sail brings to the table is its spaciousness. The car comes with plenty of space on the inside thanks to some intelligent interiors replete with a split rear seats and storage areas under the rear seat. Finally, General Motors has managed to price the Sail U-VA bang in the middle of the B+ segment hatchback space and this should also help matters when it comes to sales.
On the other hand, when it comes to contemporary looks, the Sail U-VA falls behind the competition as it looks pretty dated, or even boring from some angles. Practicality though over rules buying decisions many a time in the car market and this is what GM India will be betting on. In a nutshell, GM India wants the Sail U-VA to be its best selling model in the country. On whether the American automaker manages to achieve this is something that only time will tell. For now, the Sail U-VA has enough kit to give it a fighting chance of achieving GM India’s goal.