US car major General Motors on Friday introduced the first Chinese mass market car in India, the Chevrolet Sail, with the promise of more such cars from across the border in the near future.
The Sail carries a price tag of Rs. 4.4-5.58 lakh for the petrol versions and Rs.5.87-6.62 lakh for the diesel variants, and is GM's fourth small car in India.
It will compete with the likes of Maruti Swift, Hyundai i10, Honda Brio, Nissan Micra and Toyota Liva."The Sail U-VA is a strong addition to our small car portfolio," said Lowell Paddock, president and managing director General Motors India.
"The market is preferring bigger cars in the compact segment, and with the Sail U-VA we are able to balance our presence in the segment along with Beat."
"You can say this is the first car from China to come to India but it has been sufficiently worked upon to cater to Indian consumers," he added.
Since 2010, GM's India operations are a joint venture partnership with China's automotive giant SAIC.
The US car maker has an existing alliance with SAIC in China as well, and the duo forms one of the largest players in the market.
The Sail is a direct outcome of that partnership.
The car was launched in China in January 2010.
That was around the same time that the two companies stitched up the joint venture in India, and the Sail has been the best selling small car as well as the most exported car from China.
India is the first market outside China where the car is being manufactured.
"This is a truly global product that has been developed for India," Paddock said.
"There are inputs from Shanghai on the basic design, Europe on the diesel powertrain and other inputs from our Asia Pacific regions. It took us 18 months to get the car ready for India and we tested it rigorously for 1 million kilometeres across the country."
GM plans to bring in a sedan based on the car called Sail NV and a MPV Enjoy this year.