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GM launches Chevrolet Aveo in India

The Aveo is the first of three new Chevrolet products it will be joined by the Aveo U-VA and Optra SRV.

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 18:18 IST

General Motors on Saturday launched its new sedan, Chevrolet Aveo, positioned as an entry-level mid-sized car and said it is eyeing total sales of 50,000 vehicles in the Indian market this year.

The Aveo is the first of three new Chevrolet products debuting in the first six months of 2006; it will be joined by the Aveo U-VA and Optra SRV as part of the "largest expansion of GM India's vehicle line-up in the company's history".

GM India's President and MD Rajeev Chaba said that the price of the new product, which would go on sale nationwide next month, would be decided after the Union budget.

It's expecting sales of 14,000 units of the Aveo this year and 20,000 units on an annualised basis, said Ankush Arora, VP, Marketing and Sales, GM India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors Corporation, the world's largest automaker.

Besides Chevrolet Tavera, GM India manufacturers Chevrolet Optra and Corsa at its facility in Halol, Gujarat.

Last year (in the calendar year 2005), it sold 30,837 vehicles, an 18 per cent increase over the previous year.

Chaba said GM is looking to clock 50,000 units in sales in the current calendar year, noting that the passenger car market is expected to grow by 8-9 per cent in 2006, compared to six per cent last year.

He said GM India is scaling up capacity of its Halol plant from the current 60,000 units to 85,000 units annually by the end of this year.

GM India executives said the company is weighing a "lot of options" regarding its plan to set up its second manufacturing plant in India. The company is committed to bring a small car to India, they said.

Upbeat about the Indian market, GM's Vice-President of Global Engineering Jim Queen said the company would continue to roll out products from its global portfolio in this market and grow its manufacturing capacity and employee base.

He said GM is getting "outstanding results" from its technical centre here, which would be expanded to become "very, very prominent" in the company world-wide. The centre, which is both for engineering and research work, currently houses 400 professionals.

Meanwhile, GM India plans to set up two new parts distribution centres this year in Maharashtra and Delhi to supplement its two existing ones in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.

Besides, it has also planned to expand its dealer network this year from the present 77 sales points to 110, service workshops from 63 to 84 and presence in 82 cities to 110, Arora said.

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 15:53 IST