General Motors has confirmed the rumours that it will be commencing export of cars produced in India from the second half of this year. The American manufacturer will start exporting the Chevrolet Beat hatchback to Latin American countries, starting with Chile. Sales of the exported cars will begin in the first quarter of 2015.
Being a left-hand-drive market, all the Chevrolet Beat cars exported to Chile will be LHD versions. These will be produced at the company’s manufacturing facility at Talegaon. Currently GM exports only components and Tavera MPVs manufactured in India in very limited number to neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. This will be the first instance of the company’s Indian arm exporting a car in mass numbers.
Speaking about this development, Arvind Saxena, president and managing director of GM India said, “The start of Beat exports underlines GM’s commitment to India and demonstrates the quality of the country’s growing supplier base. The exports will create more employment opportunities within GM India and the supplier community while helping improve capacity utilization at the Talegaon Plant.”
The company hasn’t revealed the volumes that would be exported, though previous reports suggested that about 2,000 units would be shipped off to Chile every month. General Motors currently has manufacturing facilities at Talegaon, Maharashtra and Halol, Gujarat, which have a combined capacity of 2.82 lakh units per annum, though they are running at less than 30 per cent capacity.
The slump in the automotive industry means that domestic sales have been steadily declining for the past few months, with Chevrolet being one of the hardest hit manufacturers. In such a situation, GM India has taken the right decision of utilising the idle or surplus capacity to good use and increase profits.