It may not have the wherewithal or ambition to take on the Nano, but US car major General Motors is all set to lock horns with Tata Motors over the latter's other blockbuster-- the sub-one tonne mini-truck, Ace and vans built on the same platform. Chinese partner Wuling would be its accomplice in this game.
“We are looking at opportunities with Wuling on their range of mini-vans and people movers,” Jonathan Browning, vice-president, global sales, service and marketing, General Motors, told a news conference on Tuesday "It is still at a very preliminary stage so it is difficult to say if they would be imported or assembled here but India is definitely one of the opportunities."
GM makes light commercial vehicles in China in a three-way tie-up with SAIC Motor and Liuzhou Wuling Automobile. Wuling has a whole range of mini trucks from 0.3-0.8 tonne loading capacity and its Sunshine 0.8 tonne mini-van has been a huge success in China.
The sub-one tonne truck segment in India was predominantly been a three-wheeler market in the country until Tata brought in the 0.75 tonne Ace in May 2005. The latter's consequent success with sales of over 100,000 per annum, forced others like Bajaj Auto and Mahindra and Mahindra to eye similar vehicles.