General Motors had announced in February this year that it was planning to start exporting cars from its two manufacturing facilities in India. Currently GM only exports auto components and Tavera MPVs to neighbouring markets like Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It has now been revealed that the American manufacturer is chalking up plans to commence exports to the markets in Latin America, starting with the Beat hatchback.
The exports are expected to start from the second half of this year, with the volumes expected to be around 18 to 20 per cent of the total capacity of the Talegaon facility. GM will start by exporting around 2,000 units of the Chevrolet Beat to Chile and will add Mexico, Peru and Central American and Caribbean countries by 2015.
GM has been restructuring its operations around the world, which included separating China from its Consolidated International Operations. In this restructuring, the company’s Indian subsidiary is being given a key role for sourcing the company’s small cars for its global markets.
Speaking to ET, an anonymous source said, "For the first year, the exports volumes will be small at about 2,000, and then the company intends to export almost 30,000 to 33,000 units of Beat per annum to Latin America in the next two to three years. Mexico will be its largest contributor at around 12,000 to 24,000 units going ahead."
General Motors currently has manufacturing facilities at Talegaon, Maharashtra and Halol, Gujarat, which have a combined capacity of 2.82 lakh units per annum. The Indian auto industry has been facing a negative growth for some time now and Chevrolet is one of the hardest hit companies. Hence despite the high capacity, the plants are churning out less than 40 per cent of the total volume. In such a condition, it only seems logical that the company puts the idle or surplus capacity to some use.