General Motors has stated that they are not happy with their India operations as the sales were lower than expected. The American auto giant has been making efforts to improve its sales and make its presence felt in the country with the Chevrolet brand. The need for improved sales also becomes important at a time when arch rival Ford has been hitting the right note with the masses.
There have been several reasons in the recent years that led to GM India’s decline in sales. The major fiasco turned out to be the Tavera MUV recall, which was also the biggest recall of India last year comprising of 1.14 lakh units. The Tavera failed to meet manufacturing standards and emission norms which in turn caused a government enquiry on the company and the firing of 25 of the top most executives of GM.
GM’s decision to bring the Sail twins instead of the Sonic twins also backfired as the cars received a mild response upon launch for their average looks and capabilities in a volume friendly segment. If that wasn’t enough, GM made a voluntary recall on the Sail twins with an engine quality issue on the diesel variants and the production was also put on hold for a brief period.
Currently, GM retails a product in almost every segment with the Beat hatchback, Sail hatchback and sedan, Enjoy MPV, Cruze saloon and Captiva SUV. While the Enjoy and Sail sedan are seeing steady numbers, the Cruze and Captiva are more restricted to being brand builders in the low volume segment. The facelifted Beat was launched at the Auto Expo last week and is expected to become a more value for money offering catering to the youth.
GM has been operating in the Indian market for over a period of 18 years (earlier with the Opel brand) and still manages to secure only 2 percent of market share in the 2.8 million passenger vehicles market. The company is working on improving its image and services for the Indian consumers by upgrading its dealers and developing brand Chevrolet. GM has also planned to launch a new compact SUV in the emerging segment on the lines of the Adra concept that was showcased at the Auto Expo.