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GM unveils Optra diesel version

June 11, 2007 08:57 IST

Pitching directly against its nearest competitor, Skoda Octavia, General Motors India (GMI) on Saturday announced the nationwide launch of 'Optra Magnum', the diesel version of its premium sedan Chevrolet Optra, besides its mini-car Spark in the Andhra Pradesh market.

Positioned in the same category as Octavia, the Optra diesel version is competitively priced in the range of Rs 8.73 lakh and Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), while the latter is being sold in the range of Rs 11.35 lakh to Rs 14 lakh.

Disclosing this here at a press conference, Sanjeev Garg, director (operations), General Motors India, said the company aimed at selling around 9,000 Optra Magnums and 20,000 Sparks this year.

"Last year, we introduced three new Chevrolet products -- the Ave SRV and Aveo U-VA. This year, we are keeping up the momentum with the launch of significant new entries in India's high-potential diesel segment and the market's predominant mini-car segment," Garg said, adding that the company was also looking at introducing a couple of small cars in the near future. He, however, declined to divulge further details.

Stating that the company was currently having capacity constraints at its Halol plant in Gujarat, Garg said the capacity at the facility was being increased to 85,000 units from the present 60,000 units to provide world class vehicles made in India.

"Besides, we recently conducted the ground breaking ceremony for a new 300-acre greenfield facility at Talegaon in Maharashtra. It will have an initial annual production capacity of 1.4 lakh vehicles and will commence production by the last quarter of 2008," he said.

While Spark will initially be manufactured at Halol, its production will shift to Talegaon, which will serve as the company's hub for its soon-to-be launched small cars too, he added.

General Motors India has been in the top five car manufacturers list in terms of volumes, and it aims at achieving the third position this year.

BS Reporter in Chennai/ Hyderabad
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