General Motors India has announced that it will launch both commercial and passenger cars in collaboration with its Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).
The Joint Venture between GMI and SAIC, which materialised last year, will make massive investments at GMI’s Halol plant in Gujarat to produce light commercial vehicles (LCVs) from SAIC’s stable.
“After the partnership with SAIC, GM in India has a wider menu to choose from with products from SAIC also available. By the end of next year or early 2012, we plan to launch LCVs in one-tonne capacity, which could be simultaneously followed by passenger cars,” GM India President and Managing Director Karl Slym told reporters.
GM has revealed that the passenger cars from SAIC will be sold in India under the Chevrolet brand, however, the company is yet to decide upon the branding of the LCV’s. Initially the company will launch about three models of LCVs from the SAIC family.
The GM-SAIC joint venture started functioning officially from February 2010.
Regarding investment issues, Slym said, “The company has not finalised any figures, but on an industry average it takes about USD 50 million per vehicle to change the toolings on an existing plant.”
He also mentioned that GM India will export the LCVs to other markets too, including South America and South East Asia.
General Motors India’s Halol plant has an aggregate capacity of producing 85,000 units every year and will remain more or less the same after the SAIC LCVs are introduced there.