General Motors drives in Beat diesel at Rs 4.29 lakh

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Betting on diesel: Mr P. Balendran (left), Vice-President, General Motors India, and Mr Vikas Jain, Director Sales, at the launch of the Chevrolet Beat diesel in Mumbai on Monday. – Shashi Ashiwal   -  Business Line

With a plan to tap into the surging demand for diesel small cars, General Motors India (GMI) has launched a diesel model of the Chevrolet Beat small car. With introductory prices starting at Rs 4.29 lakh (Delhi, ex-showroom), this hatchback is among the cheapest diesel cars in the country.

The Beat diesel will compete with models such as the Tata Indica eV2 – the only diesel small car that is cheaper than itself at Rs 3.95 lakh – besides the Ford Figo and Maruti Suzuki's Swift and Ritz.

“We have launched the car nationally today. Though the market is a bit sluggish right now, we hope to sell up to 5,000 units in a month of the diesel Beat,” said Mr P. Balendran, Vice-President, GMI.

Three variants

The new diesel Beat will be available in three variants, with prices stretching up to Rs 5.45 lakh. The top model features ABS and alloy wheels. The company claims that the new engine, which has been developed locally by GM's Bangalore-based technical centre, delivers a mileage of 24 kmpl on the Beat.

Powered by the smallest diesel engine in the market – the turbocharged 1 litre XSDE Smartech, the Beat diesel is expected to generate significant volumes for GMI. With 1,500 orders already in place, the company expects combined monthly sales of the petrol and diesel models to now touch 7,000 units.

In the industry, sales of diesel models have an around 80 per cent share wherever they are available, largely because of cheaper running costs since the Government-controlled diesel prices are much lower than petrol.

“We want to double the industry market growth. So if the industry is growing at 12-15 per cent, our sales will grow at 24 per cent,” Mr Karl Slym, President and MD, GMI said. Another official added that sales this year should cross 1.4 lakh units – it sold 1.1 lakh units in 2010.

The US-based manufacturer, which inaugurated a new engine plant at its Talegaon facility last year, is currently manufacturing around 6,000 diesel engines and 3,000 petrol engines a month. The company also has plans to start engine exports from the plant, while launching more diesel models of other cars in its range, an official said.

More outlets soon

GM, which plans to launch around six new products over the next two years, hopes to add 50 more sales outlets by year-end to its existing 250 dealerships. These will mostly be in smaller towns. An updated Tavera multi-utility vehicle will also be launched by end-2011.

Published on July 25, 2011

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