GM India to invest Rs 2,000 cr on expansion, CV biz

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The assembly line at the GMI's manufacturing plant in Halol.
The assembly line at the GMI's manufacturing plant in Halol.

Roudra Bhattacharya

Mumbai, Jan. 11

To fuel its growth in the world's second fastest growing auto market, General Motors (GM) India has said that it would invest around Rs 2,000 crore in its Indian facilities over the next three years. Around Rs 1,400 crore of the overall amount would be invested in 2011-12.

Mr Karl Slym, President & Managing Director, GM India told Business Line that an announcement for a fresh investment of Rs 700 crore at Halol would be made by the company on Wednesday. These funds would be utilised to convert Halol into a hub for making commercial vehicles (CVs), while also expanding production capacity to 1.05 lakh units a year.

The company, in which Chinese partner SAIC and US-based GM have an equal stake, will further invest around Rs 1,300 crore at its second plant in Talegaon for adding an annual production capacity 1.6 lakh units. Currently, it can annually manufacture 85,000 units at Halol and 1.4 lakh units at Talegaon.

New products

Mr Slym said the investment plans follow GM's strategy to launch a slew of new products - six new vehicles with 14 fuel options over the next three years. By that time, it aims to have an annual capacity of 4 lakh units. GM is also increasing workforce strength at its Bangalore-based technical centre.

“The Halol investment will be made this year itself as we gear up to launch our CV portfolio with SAIC. In Talegaon the second phase expansion would initially require around Rs 700 crore, but overall we would put in around Rs 1,300 crore by 2013. This will be our major car hub. We've already set up a new engine plant at Talegaon last year,” he said.

GM would launch two base CV platforms – a van and a pickup with around 1 tonne capacity. These will also have different body variants. Sales would begin by early 2012. Of the six new vehicles, two would be LCVs, two mid-size sedans, and one an SUV and the last a small car from the GM stable developed by the Indian technical centre.

Critical milestone

In 2010, GM has also crossed the critical milestone of over 1 lakh unit sales and is now looking to triple India sales in the next three years. It also plans to export engines from its new plant and CVs from Halol.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 12, 2011)
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