In a strategic move to make India a global export hub, American automobile giant General Motors has increased its focus on export markets to de-risk its business in India.
The Indian subsidiary on Monday shipped its first 3,000 left-hand-drive Chevrolet Beats to Mexico. The mini-cars left the Mumbai Port Trust in Maharashtra to arrive in Mexico within eight weeks to start sales there in December 2015.
The Beat, badged the Spark outside India, is available in more than 70 markets worldwide and has sold over 1 million units.
“For General Motors India, Mexico is the second major export market,” Arvind Saxena, president and managing director at General Motors India, said.
He said this was part of GM’s strategy to make India an export hub for global markets. “We will be exporting Beats to Mexico on a monthly basis,” Saxena said.
The Beat is produced at the company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Talegaon, Maharashtra, which has a base capacity of 130,000 vehicles per annum. The company, which starting exporting to Chile from Talegaon factory in September 2014, has sold over 1,000 vehicles last year.
Saxena said the company had secured a big market for Chevrolet Spark in Mexico, where it had a 15 per cent market share. Sales of the left-hand drive mini-car in Mexico are scheduled in December 2015.
“Exports are part of our new strategy for volume growth and business consolidation and introducing 10 new products in India over the next five years is a game changer going forward,” Saxena said. He admitted that the company had incurred losses for some years.
“In 2015, we plan to export 20,000 vehicles, compared with just 1,000 vehicles last year,” Saxena said. “This number will further increase to approximately 50,000 vehicles in 2016, reinforcing our commitment to the Indian market and our strong local supplier base,” he stressed.
The company has also already started exporting petrol and diesel engines for passenger vehicles made in India to South Africa. The Talegaon factory has an installed capacity to produce 1.30 lakh engines annually.
During her recent visit to India, GM CEO Mary Barra announced $1 billion in new investment in the market, including exports. The Talegaon facility, which currently has a production capacity of 130,000 vehicles annually, will increase its base capacity to 220,000 vehicles by 2025.
“India will become a global export hub for GM, with up to 30 per cent of its annual production planned for markets outside India,” Saxena said.
At present, the brand has been selling 3,000 cars monthly for a long time in the Indian market.
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