General Motors has confirmed that the company will commence exports of Chevrolet cars from India in the second half of 2014. The company is betting big on exports and will utilise both the plants to produce export vehicles. India proves to be a lucrative export base for several manufacturers. General Motors says that the country provides skilled workforce, strong supplier base and strong engineering skills to the company. The countries and vehicles that will be exported have not been decided as yet.
Currently, GM India exports a few hundred units of its cars to Nepal and Bangladesh and sells them through distributors. The new export activity will see GM exporting large number of vehicles. The company has two plants in the country at Gujarat and Maharashtra with a combined annual output of 2.82 lakhs, and currently utilises only one third of its production capacity. GM also has a flexible engine line at its Talegaon plant that produces small capacity petrol and diesel engines for its vehicles. Exporting vehicles will also make sure the company makes optimum use of the plant and can reach break-even point faster in the year.
The previous year for GM was not in the best of company’s interest with the Tavera recall denting the company’s reputation heavily, followed by the recall for the Sail Twins leading to production stoppage as well for a brief period. GM India’s sales in 2013 showed a downward trend of 6 percent at 86,000 units. The company says the excise duty cut will motivate the industry in terms of sales and is looking to strengthen its market position with the Chevrolet brand in the country.
General Motors retails the refreshed Beat hatchback, Sail Twins, Enjoy MPV, Cruze saloon and the Captiva SUV in the country. The company showcased the all-new Adra concept at the 2014 Auto Expo earlier this month which will spawn a compact SUV for the Indian market in the next couple of years. The automaker also said that it has no plans to bring its luxury brands to India as of now. With the commencement of export operations, GM will join Hyundai, Suzuki and Nissan amongst others in the exporters list.