General Motors aims to double market share
NEW DELHI, Nov 03, 2012 (Menafn - Mint - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --General Motors India Pvt. Ltd (GM) is the only firm that has a product portfolio to challenge market leaders Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd and plans to double its market share by the end of 2013, according to Lowell Paddock, president and managing director of the Indian unit of the US car maker.
GM introduced Sail U-va, a product developed by its Chinese joint venture partner SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd, on Friday. Sail U-va will compete with Maruti's Swift model and Hyundai's i20. The petrol version of the car starts selling at Rs.4.44 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and the diesel variant comes at Rs.5.87 lakh.
With the introduction of Sail U-va, GM plans to double its India market share to 9% by the end of 2013. The firm said its hatchbacks Beat and Sail U-va and the multi-purpose vehicle Enjoy, that will be introduced in November, will drive sales in India.
Starting from its compact car Spark to the Captiva utility vehicle, GM is present in all the segments where Maruti and Hyundai operate. Still, its market share has failed to cross 5% of Indian car sales, which reached two million units at the end of March from 232,798 units in 1994, when GM re-entered India in a partnership with Hindustan Motors Ltd. GM later bought out Hindustan Motors' stake.
The petrol version of Sail U-va will be powered by a 1200cc engine and the diesel variant will have a 1,300cc engine delivering a fuel economy of 22.1km/litre. However, the base version of the diesel model does not include features such as music system, speakers and a security alarm system.
The Sail model, which is among the top-selling cars in China, is the first product in GM India's portfolio that has been developed with the Chinese partner. So far, it has sold 600,000 units in 14 countries.
"Our real journey started in 2008 when we launched our first small car Spark. So, before that, we did not have products to be a part of the volume game," said Paddock. "We expect success in the small car segment driven by the Sail and will be happy to double our market share by next year."
Paddock said the sales of its flagship car Beat has suffered because it had not been marketed properly. "We believe Beat has much more potential than what it is delivering. We know it is not a product issue. The issue is about communicating the value proposition of the product to customers and we have to do with some compelling marketing campaign," Paddock said.
In a year when auto sales have slowed, GM has suffered the most. Its car sales declined 21% to 43,426 in the six months ended 30 September. In comparison, overall passenger vehicle sales rose 7% to 1.28 million units.
Paddock said the Enjoy model will compete with Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd's Innova and the Sail sedan will compete with Maruti's SX4 and Hyundai's Verna. "We are banking on the growth in the utility vehicle segment. It is expanding and we want to have fair share in that," he said.
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