General Motors (GM) is considering using the Enjoy (the soon-to-be launched multi-utility vehicle) platform to foray into India’s light commercial vehicle (LCV) market.
Lowell Paddock, president and managing director, GM India, said, “We can use the Enjoy platform and elements of the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) to roll out LCVs.” He, however, declined to specify the timeline for the introduction of the two sub-one-tonne models. The company had said it would launch these models in India early this year.
GM India’s much-touted foray into the LCV segment has been delayed due to the company’s focus on rolling out passenger vehicles across the hatchback, sedan and utility vehicle segments. While small car Sail and MPV Enjoy would hit the roads this festive season, a sedan would follow by the end of the year.
To cash in on the growth potential in the LCV segment, General Motors had invested about Rs 1,125 crore in developing two LCVs, together with partner Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC). To roll out LCVs, the company had increased manufacturing capacity at the Halol facility in Gujarat from 85,000 units to 1,10,000 units.
GM has been facing pressure on sales in a market hit by high interest rates and fuel prices. Between April and August, the company’s sales fell 19.89 per cent to 36,030 units, compared to the year-ago period.
The company is overhauling its line-up of passenger cars in the country to woo consumers and take on competition. Besides the three new models lined up for launch over the next three months, the company has already introduced refurbished versions of the Tavera, Captiva and Cruze earlier this year. It is also upgrading small car Spark.
GM had earlier stated it planned to increase sales in India to 3,00,000 units by 2013. Together with SAIC, it plans to launch five vehicles over the next fifteen months.
GM has a 50:50 joint-venture agreement with SAIC for operations in all emerging markets in Asia. The GM-SAIC alliance operates eight joint-ventures in China. It has also formed an investment company, General Motors SAIC Investment Limited, to facilitate expansion.