Sales of General Motors India have been dwindling since a long time and after facing losses of Rs. 2740 crores, the company seems to have finally woken up.
General Motors India has been on a loss-making spree since longer than we can remember. The company initially introduced the Opel and Daewoo brands in India which tanked miserably and the companies had to shut shop. Then General Motors launched Chevrolet in India and the brand was nicely received with the Optra, Tavera and Spark getting a nice response and these managed to sell in good numbers. Then, GM again started to face problems with Chevrolet due to less demand of these vehicles plus the poor response of the company’s latest launches, the Enjoy, Sail U-VA and Sail sedan.
Over the past few years, General Motors India has recorded a huge loss of Rs. 2740 crores. The company is now trying to enforce a new strategy that is first aiming at cutting down costs and reducing profits and then improving on product quality and performance based on feedback given by customers. The entire business is being made viable for dealers. GM has an annual manufacturing capacity of 2.8 lakh units and this capacity will be utilised to the fullest. The Sail and Sail U-VA come from the company’s Chinese partner SAIC and these vehicles tanked in the market badly. The company has realised this now and in the future, vehicles from the American stable will be launched here.
Chevrolet will launch the TrailBlazer SUV in India later this year and it will be competing with the likes of the Toyota Fortuner, Hyundai Santa Fe and SsangYong Rexton. Apart from this, the automaker will also launch the Spin MPV in 2016 that will fight it out with the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and should also replace the Enjoy. The company is optimistic that these new products will help them gain a fair amount of market share.
So, GM India has finally woken up but is it too late? We think the company should have acted like this slightly earlier, maybe a year or two in advance. Chevrolet’s sales (or should we say Sails) in India are negligible compared to other biggies like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Honda. However, we must also look positively at this development since General Motors has some really good vehicles in its stable and these can be accepted by our market if the marketing is done right. Also, Chevrolet desperately needs to improve its after-sales service in India. Should GM India keep its hopes high with the new products?