General Motors yet to resume Tavera, Sail production

General Motors India (GM), which stopped production of the BS-III variants of Tavera and the diesel powered Sail and Sail U-VA, is yet to resume production of these models and could not put a date as to when production could begin. The company's sales dipped by close to 11 per cent during June owing to lack of availability of its fresh launch Sail, as against a 40 per cent sales growth in May.

No decision is yet taken on whether to stage a recall of the already sold vehicles,dealer sources indicated.

P Balendran, vice-president, corporate affairs, GM India said, "We are progressing well on solving the technical issues, and would soon come up with an update, may be as early as next week. However, I cannot put a date to when production would resume."

Meanwhile, the company has suffered a 10.71 per cent drop in sales during the month of June to 6,575 units as against 7,364 units in the same month last year.

This included 2,081 units of the Beat, 1,507 units of the Sail and 2,578 units of the Enjoy multi-purpose vehicle. This is a sharp fall compared to the previous month when the company had recorded a 39.82 per cent year-on-year growth in sales on the back of the Sail hatchback and sedan. In May, GM had sold 2,851 units of the Sail and 1475 units of the Tavera.

Balendran said that production of the BS-IV variant of the Tavera is on. "There is significant demand for the BS-III version as well from smaller towns where this is used as a commuting vehicle," he added. While the Sail hatch and sedan are produced at Talegaon near Pune in Maharashtra, the Tavera is manufactured at Halol near Vadodara in Gujarat.

GM India launched the Sail U-VA hatchback in November and the sedan version in February. While the hatch version competes with Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai's i20, the sedan is pitted against the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Hyundai's Verna.

The company stopped production of the Sail sedan and Sail U-VA on 5 June and that of Tavera on 6 June following quality issues with the Sail's 1.3 litre diesel engine and emission issues in the BS-III variant of the Tavera.

Balendran, however, claimed that none of the issues are related to safety. Sources in the company and at dealerships indicated that no decision has yet been taken whether to stage of recall of already sold vehicles. An Ahmedabad-based dealer claimed that enquiries are coming in for the Sail sedan and hatchback, and bookings are also in progress. "The company hopes to solve the technical issues soon and we would be able to offer the cars to the customers," he added.