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General Motors working on ‘Amber’ project for emerging markets

June 17, 2014, 01:16 PM IST by Ranjan R. Bhat
General Motors working on ‘Amber’ project for emerging markets

After failing to make a mark in the Indian market with its Chinese-based models like the Sail and Enjoy, General Motors is now working on a fresh project, internally called ‘Amber’. The project will spawn off a new platform which will underpin three new models and be responsible for raking up volumes in emerging markets like India, Brazil, Thailand, Russia and Mexico. 

The new platform will be built from scratch at the American manufacturer’s R&D centres in Europe and Brazil. This platform will spin-off three models in three segments – a premium hatchback, a compact sedan and a compact SUV. General Motors aims at selling around 1 to 1.2 million units globally of which, 1.5 lakh units are expected to be sold in the India. 

The compact sedan and compact SUV segments have turned out to be quite popular in the Indian market and have helped manufacturers like Ford, Maruti Suzuki and Honda turn generate big sales numbers. Cars like the EcoSport, Amaze, Swift Dzire and Xcent have been performing exceptionally due to the low price and high value-for money they offer as a result of the Government’s concessions.

The slump in the automotive industry means that domestic sales have been steadily declining for the past few months and Chevrolet is one of the hardest hit manufacturers. This year alone Chevrolet introduced a special edition of the Sail, Sail U-VA, Enjoy and Spark, but the Indian market hasn’t been kind to the American manufacturer. To improve its sales numbers Chevrolet recently launched the Complete Care program which promises low cost of maintenance for its customers. 

GM has been restructuring its operations around the world. This has resulted in the company’s Indian subsidiary being given a key role for sourcing the company’s small cars for its global markets. In order to utilise the surplus capacity at its manufacturing plants, Chevrolet India will commence exports to Latin America this year, starting with Chile. 

The launch of the three new cars is still a long way ahead and the first product is expected to hit the Indian market by the first half of 2018. For now, Chevrolet says it will keep its existing line-up fresh by introducing upgraded versions of its current products. 

Source: ET
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