The Hindu Business Line
Unfazed by Chapter 11 filing and financial turmoil of the automotive giant and parent General Motors in the US, GM India has begun trial production of its new mini car to be launched later this year.
This mini car, being developed around the Beat hatchback, will be rolled in multiple fuel options in the second half of 2009, Mr Karl Slym, President and Managing Director of GM India, said. In fact, there is pressure from employees to roll this out early, he said.
The $1-billion investment we have made in India already has put us in a comfortable position. We now have a manufacturing capacity of 2.25 lakh cars in two plants at Halol and Talegaon. The latter has the capability to be ramped up to 3 lakh units per annum, from 1.4 lakh capacity now, he explained. Work on the press shop has been completed, and the building for the transmission unit is ready and the equipment is being installed. We will be able to commence production in the transmission plant by next year. This will offer us great flexibility.
Announcing the introduction of Spark LPG here, he said they expect to roll out two new models in the country this year. This includes a mid-sized Chevrolet sedan Cruze priced at about Rs 12 lakh and a mini car built on Beat concept. The latter would be sold in the Rs 4 lakh range.
The new transmission plant would allow the company to offer cars in different fuel options, including diesel engines. It is also considering roll out of cars with diesel engines imported from other manufacturing bases, he explained