Peugeot could use General Motors India’s Halol plant for production
The General Motors-Peugeot alliance in Europe is resulting in interesting synergies as far as the Indian car market. Peugeot plans to begin producing its car range from General Motors’ Halol facility in Gujarat. This move from Peugeot is mainly to save on the money, the French automaker would have otherwise had to spend on setting up a new manufacturing facility in India. In fact, Peugeot had even settled on Sanand, Gujarat, for the possible location for its Indian factory before the crisis in Europe forced the automaker to scale down on its Indian operations.
Since General Motors and Peugeot are now in an alliance, through which they will jointly develop new products and share production facilities wherever necessary, this arrangement seems to be also in the offing for the Indian market. Peugeot initially planned to invest about INR 4,000 crore in India for the new factory. Now, due to the French automaker tying up with General Motors, this figure would be much lesser. However, Peugeot will employ a large manpower for its Indian operations. Also, General Motors is not expected to manufacture cars for Peugeot. Instead, the latter could operate its own production at GM’s Halol plant.
While Peugeot has not confirmed which car models it would launch in India over the next few years, the 208 hatchback and the 508 sedan is expected to be launched first. Both these products were lined up for an Indian launch in 2013, before Peugeot went slow on setting up their facility in the country. The Peugeot 208 hatchback is an B+ segment product that will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Ford Figo. The 208 hatchback was recently unveiled globally and is an all new product that is quite contemporary. So, plenty of car buyers would look forward to this small car, which is expected to be available in both petrol and diesel engined versions.
The Peugeot 508 sedan, on the other hand is a much bigger car, which will sit in the E-segment car market. The 508 sedan will compete with the Honda Accord-Volkswagen Passat-Skoda Superb brigade. Both petrol and diesel engined options are expected to be on offer, with a high level of luxury and comfort befitting this car’s stature as a flagship Peugeot product. While the earlier launch time frame for both the 208 hatchback and the 508 sedan was expected to be 2013, it remains to be seen when Peugeot takes a final call on these Indian launches.