GM India to start exports from this year

General Motors India, which manufactures and sells Chevrolet brand cars, SUVs and MPVs in the country, will start export of products in a big way later this year.

“The company has taken an in-principle decision to export the products to other countries. This activity will start late this year,” VP of GM India P Balendran said. 

“There has been a downturn in the automotive industry on the whole in India. The outlook still remains subdued. Sentiments may reverse after the outcome of general elections due in May this year,” he said.

He added that GM had witnessed a de-growth in sales in 2013 at 86,000 units.

So far, the company had been exporting to Nepal and Bangladesh in a small way, he said.In 2013, GM’s sales were also subdued due to recall of its SUV Tavera. “That problem has been fixed and we expect higher Tavera volumes this year,” he said.

“GM’s growth this year will be almost aligned with the projected industry growth of six per cent,” Balendran said.

Saying that the company was yet to reach break-even, GM India made operational profits in 2004 and 2005.

“Once the demand picks up, the company is ready to ramp up production at its Halol and Talegaon plants,” he said.

Both the plants have a combined capacity of 2.82 lakh units per year. Depressing sales could also be contributed to higher interest rates as 80 per cent of the car market in India was financed, he said.

Answering a query, he said there is no plan at present to launch luxury brands from the GM stable in India.

After launching MPV Enjoy and SAIL models in 2013, GM India launched a new variant of its bestseller hatchback Beat this month. 

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