US auto major General Motors is reportedly planning to exit India in the coming months, owing to weak growth of the GM brand in the country. The question now is will GM take the support of Chinese automaker SAIC to recover lost ground in India? Like it had done in 2010? This will soon be known as talks are on with SAIC.
Meanwhile, the automaker's current portfolio in the country includes hatchback Beat, sedan Cruze and a multi-purpose vehicle, Enjoy among others. In October 2016, the carmaker also added its SUV Trailblazer in the Indian market.
A report of ET Auto claims that the General Motors could end its operations in India soon and an official announcement on the same can be expected shortly. This news comes barely after reports seemed to suggest GM had put on hold its investments on new models for the country for an indefinite period. Intriguingly, amidst the report of its exit, the company has been testing its future models like the new Beat and the Essentia compact sedan on Indian roads adding more confusion to the unraveling saga.
Apparently, the company has already stopped the production of the right-hand drive models, specific to markets like India at the company's Talegaon plant in the country. The facility at Halol will wind up its operations by April 28, 2017. The Halol factory is GM's first in India with a production capacity of more than 1.1 lakh vehicles annually. The plant employs close to 1,100 workers.
GM is currently said to be making only the left-hand drive Beat at Talegaon for export to markets like Mexico suggesting that the exit of brand Chevrolet from India could be on the cards. However, an official confirmation from the company has not been forthcoming.
SAIC, GM Connection
An early entrant in the country's car market, GM has been struggling to make a turnaround in India. Although its models like Tavera and Beat performed reasonably well, the lack of new launches pulled it back from making further inroads in an increasingly competitive auto industry. GM has consistently been losing ground to its rivals in India, plunging to a market share of less than 1 percent.
GM is said to be in talks with the Shanghai-headquartered multinational auto manufacturer, SAIC Motor HK, that is part of China's SAIC Motor Corp and is reportedly planning to enter the Indian market as the first Chinese automaker. SAIC helped GM's India operations in 2010, when the company was facing bankruptcy in the US. SAIC is also the partner of GM China operations with both holding 50% stake.
Source: ET Auto