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GM to roll out 3rd small car in India

From India Times| June 13,2007

Betting big on the small car segment in India, General Motors India is weaving plans to come out with a third small car in 2008 after its hatchback Aveo U-VA launched in 2006 and Chevrolet Spark launched in 2007.

According to sources, the new car will be rolled out from GM’s upcoming plant — to be operational by late 2008 — at Talegaon in Maharashtra. It will be positioned between the company’s mini-car Spark and the premium hatchback Aveo U-VA.

The small car segment in India is expected to register a growth of 12% at over 8.8 lakh units in 2007-08 as compared to 7.8 lakh units sold in 2006-07. "General Motors presence in India is incomplete without a strong presence in the small cars category that rules a mass market in the Indian automobile industry," says Ankush Arora, V-P, GM India, at the launch of company’s diesel version of Optra — Optra Magnum.

Arora however, did not divulge details of the company’s upcoming small car model under the Chevy badge. "There is no denying the fact small cars are sold in volumes and going by the boom in this segment the company might look at shifting its entire small car production to its new plant that will have initial capacity of 1,40,000 units," says Anisha Motwani, director (marketing), GM India.

The auto major, which aims to increase its market share in India from 2-3% now to 10% by 2010, will also introduce the Chevrolet Captiva — a top-end diesel SUV — in the range of Rs 15-18 lakh. It will be launched early next year and will compete with the likes of Honda CR-V.

Company’s newly launched Optra Magnum, is powered by a two-litre turbocharged common rail direct injection engine. While the base model is priced at Rs 8.74 lakh, the top-end model will cost Rs 9.99 lakh and will be pitched against the Skoda Octavia and Toyota Corolla.

The company, that saw 95% jump in sales in May 2007 at 3,625 units, aims to sell a total of 66,000 units in 2007 as compared to 38,000 units sold in 2006.

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