US automotive giant General Motors (GM) will turn India into a new global auto manufacturing and export hub with a $1bn (£642m, €904m) investment over the next few years.
GMs CEO Mary Barra announced the investment at a press briefing in New Delhi, adding that it will create 12,000 jobs at the company and its suppliers in India, Reuters reported.
In addition, Stefan Jacoby, GMs chief of international operations, told a news conference that the company will launch 10 new domestically manufactured vehicles in India over the next five years, as it looks to double its market share in the country by 2020.
At present, GM holds a 1.8% market share in India, having sold 56,700 vehicles in 2014.
Having started operations in India in 1996, GM sells vehicles under the Chevrolet brand in the country. GM India currently makes the Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet Beat, Chevrolet Sail, Chevrolet Sail Hatchback, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Enjoy, Chevrolet Tavera, and Chevrolet Captiva for the Indian market.
The company has two manufacturing facilities in India. The Halol manufacturing plant in the state of Gujarat, which produces Cruze, Enjoy, Tavera and Captiva CBU, has a manufacturing capacity of 127,000 units per annum. The Talegaon manufacturing plant in the state of Maharashtra produces 165,000 Spark, Beat, SAIL and SAIL Hatchback vehicles per annum.
In addition, GM operates the Flexi powertrain plant at Talegaon which has a capacity of 160,000 engines per annum.
The investment comes as part of GMs broader plan to invest $5bn over several years to create a new line of vehicles for the emerging markets. As per the plan, GM will introduce the new models under the Chevrolet banner in 2019 and will aim to produce two million units per year.
The company also intends to boost its existing partnership with state-owned Chinese automaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) to achieve cost savings.
While SAIC will manage GMs manufacturing in China, the new models will also be manufactured in other markets including Brazil, India and Mexico.
By localising production, GM intends to achieve even greater cost savings through using local suppliers in the manufacturing countries.