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GM likely to roll out SUV by year-end

From Business Standard| June 14,2007

GM likely to roll out SUV by year-end

Car manufacturer General Motors India has plans to launch a sports utility vehicle (SUV) by the year-end. 
 
R Balendran, director and vice-president, corporate affairs, General Motors India, said on Wednesday that the company might bring in the SUV as either a completely built unit or a completely knocked down unit. He refused to confirm whether the SUV would be Captiva, as hinted at by the media. ll I can say is, it will be a SUV, he stressed. 
 
The company was also planning to introduce two new products every year in India for the next three years, Balendran said at the launch of luxury segment car, Optra Magnum diesel, in Pune. 
 
Balendran said the company had responded to the increased demand for its products by increasing the manufacturing capacity at its Halol plant in Gujarat from 60,000 units a year to 85,000 units by investing Rs 120 crore. The additional capacity was made operational in April 2007, he said. 
 
With the capacity addition in place, we intend to nearly double our sales from 37,000 units in 2006 to 66,000 units in the current year,?Balendran said. 
 
According to him, the increase in sales will be driven largely by the remarkably successful Tavera and the recently introduced Chevrolet Spark. Both these models were expected to notch up sales of 22,000 units each, he indicated. 
 
S Garg,director of operations, said the company might bring in the petrol version of the Optra Magnum. 
 
The Optra Magnum diesel was launched in select markets with a price tag of Rs 8.97 lakh to Rs 9.99 lakh, depending on the features. Garg said the base version of Magnum would follow soon, priced around Rs 8.74 lakh. 
 
Balendran said construction work at the General Motors plant at Talegaon was expected to be complete by the middle of 2008.

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