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GM India to drive in premium segment with Cadillac

Last updated on: March 4, 2011 16:11 IST

GM India to drive in premium segment with Cadillac

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Operating in India for the last 14 years, automobile major GM India is eyeing the premium car segment with the possible launch of Cadillac in the years to come, a top company official said.

"Last year the company had made a survey of the potential for GM's other brands like Pontiac, Buick and Cadillac in India. But we found that Cadillac is having the strongest brand recognition here," Managing Director of GM India Karl Slym said.

Slym said that since Cadillac was having the strongest potential, GM would like to enter the premium segment.

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Image: Cadillac SRX
Photographs: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters
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"We will launch Cadillac at the right time," he said.

Over the next two years, GM India would launch six new models and variants of the existing models, out of which two would be in the LCV category. The other four would be a SUV, hatchback and sedans.

The company would invest USD 500 million over the next two years, Slym said. GM entered the Indian market with its Opel brand. But it was replaced by the Chevrolet brand.

"The Opel brand did not suit India," Slym said. With the Chevrolet brand, GM India is the fifth largest automobile company at present.

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Image: Flags wave behind a General Motors Corp sign in downtown in Detroit
Photographs: Mark Blinch/Reuters
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Asked about the growth plans of GM India, Slym said that the company crossed the one-lakh mark sales figure in 2010. He said that the target is to reach the two lakh mark in 2012 and three lakh mark in 2013.

"The industry is expected to grow by 12 per cent to 15 per cent this year. We will like to grow at double that rate," Slym said.

Asked if GM would like to experiment with hybrid cars in view of the concessions given in the budget, Slym said that such duty sops were not sufficient to grow the hybrid car market in the country.

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Image: Karl Slym, chief executive officer, GM India

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He said that the announcement of a national commission on hybrid cars would go a long way in developing the market.

Slym said that GM would showcase a mini electric car in April at various places in the country.

"We will not sell but only showcase the product," he said. Slym launched the LPG version of Chevrolet Beat model in the city.

He said that the Smartech engine used in Beat was developed by the team of Indian engineers at Bangalore to suit the local conditions.

 


Photographs: Sanjay Sawant
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