GM gearing up for diesel Beat launch

Our Bureau Coimbatore | Updated on July 20, 2011 Published on July 20, 2011

General Motors India is prepared to face any move by the Government to moderate diesel consumption since its flexible manufacturing capacity could cope with any shift in customer choice, according to Mr Karl Slym, President and Managing Director, GM India.

The company, which has already invested about $ 1.5 billion in establishing its manufacturing and design facilities , expects to invest another $500 million in Gujarat and Maharashtra, he said.

Speaking at a news conference here today on the sidelines of the opening of ‘Pressana Automobiles', he said GM had established the design, development and manufacturing capabilities for vehicle manufacture in India and its distribution reach has expanded with a strong brand recall in rural pockets.

The new Coimbatore GM showroom was its second in the city, 16{+t}{+h} in Tamil Nadu and the 250{+t}{+h} in the country.

Indian market

Mr Slym said the diesel variant of Beat would be launched on Monday next and it was specifically designed for the Indian market offering good ground clearance.

Without revealing too much about the new variant, including its price, he said it would be a 1-litre vehicle and with a wide difference of Rs 24/litre in the price of petrol and diesel, he was confident of the success of the new launch. Replying to a question as to whether buyers of cars in the 1 litre segment (the diesel Beat would have about 62.5 BHP) were particular about diesel vehicles, the GM India President said ‘the engine is absolutely perfect for the car'.

The demand for diesel variants in the mini-segment far outstrips that for petrol vehicles and the capability of the diesel engine along with fuel economy and price makes for a winning combination.

More options

He said all new vehicle manufacturers coming to the country would have to offer both the options in view of the significant price difference.

GM had the capacity to offer both variants in tune with customer demand and it was for the customers to decide the fuel type.

GM's Talegaon engine plant has capacity to produce up to 3 lakh petrol or diesel engines or a mix of petrol, diesel, LPG, or CNG variants and is the first fully flexible engine plant, he said.

He said GM was the fifth largest car manufacturer in India with sales of 1.1 lakh vehicles during last year, outpacing the industry growth.

This year, while the industry's growth may moderate to about 15 per cent from 30 per cent earlier, GM would grow at double the industry average and would clock sales of about 1.4 lakh vehicles.

Published on July 20, 2011
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor