Maruti Suzuki WagonR and Estilo, and the Hyundai Santro are going to face the heat from General Motors India shortly. GMI is going to launch an all-new entry level small car, which would be its cheapest product.
Set to be priced below the existing Spark (Rs 3.5 Lakh) and Beat (Rs 3.6 Lakh), the small car would hit the Indian roads in less than two years. The car is being developed in collaboration with SAIC. The A2 segment, dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, accounts for close to 70 per cent of the total car sales.
In the next one year, leading global automakers ranging from Toyota, Fiat to Honda are going to launch their small cars in India. GM India Vice President (Corporate Affairs) P Balendran confirmed that the company is building a small car. He, however, refused to share the exact details.
“We are working on a small car which would be positioned around the Beat and the Spark. But whether it would be priced around that or below these cars we cannot say”, Balendran told the Financial Express. An industry source privy to the company’s plans said, “GM India has lined up big plans for the domestic market. Its joint venture gives the company easy access to technology and know-how to produce quality products at very competitive rates.”
In December last year, GM and China’s top automaker SAIC entered into a JV to tap developing markets, primarily India and China. “It’s a very fruitful alliance between the two companies. They can extract the best from each other,” an auto analyst with a leading consulting firm said.
It was reported in August that the first passenger car from the GM-SAIC portfolio would be a low-cost sedan. Codenamed SG308, the car would take on Tata Motors Manza and Volkswagen Vento.
Balendran said the JV partners had not decided what the final branding of the car would be and is in the midst of conducting a market survey to fix that. The first LCV from GM-SAIC is slated to be launched early next year.