General Motors has ended a partnership with Indian firm Reva to produce electric cars and will now develop the vehicle in its home town of Detroit, the head of its Indian operations said on Thursday. The announcement follows Mahindra and Mahindra’s deal on Wednesday to acquire a 55 percent stake in Reva Electric Car Company.
GM India, which had originally planned to launch an electric version of the Chevrolet Spark, will now showcase the hybrid electric vehicle Chevrolet Volt in the fourth quarter of 2010, after its global launch in November, Karl Slym said. He did not give a time frame for the introduction of full-fledged electric vehicles in the Indian market. Slym said the decision to end the agreement with Reva was taken around two months ago as GM had a parallel programme to develop electric vehicles globally.
“Now with Reva changing its ownership we saw no particular value in doing this experiment,” he said. Reva had entered into an agreement with General Motors India last year to develop electric cars in the country, including an electric version of the Chevrolet Spark. In January GM announced it would set up a $246 million facility to build electric motors to power hybrids and possibly pure electric vehicles.
General Motors’ joint venture with China’s SAIC would start off with the launch of small commercial vehicles in India in end-2011 while passenger cars from the venture will follow a year later, Slym said. The joint venture between the two companies was announced late last year and was formed in February this year, he added.