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General Motors India launches Chevrolet Optra at Rs 7.89 lakh

July 07, 2003 16:41 IST

General Motors India on Monday launched a new premium mid-size car - Chevrolet Optra - as part of the aggressive plans to grow its sales over five-fold to about 50,000 units in the next three years.

The base model of the 1800cc car has been priced at Rs 7.89 lakh (Rs 0.79 million) (ex-showroom, Delhi), Aditya Vij, president and managing director, GMI, told a news conference in New Delhi.

"The Optra will expand our existing portfolio and help us to further consolidate our position in the Indian automobile market," Vij said, adding the company expects to sell 10,000-12,000 units of the car this year.

He said that India was among the only six countries in the Asia-Pacific region where the car would be launched this year.

The Optra would also be available in two more variants - premium LS and luxury LT models - which have been priced at Rs 8.4 lakh (Rs 0.84 million) and Rs 9.69 lakh (Rs 0.97 million), respectively.

This is the second model to be introduced by GM India under the Chevrolet brand, which would cater to the mainstream market and help the company become a volume player, it said.

GM India had earlier this year launched the luxury sports utility-vehicle Chevrolet Forester.

The Optra will compete in the emerging D1 segment against vehicles like Skoda Octavia and Toyota Corolla.

This segment has witnessed a surge in demand with sales during the first five months of this year growing by 97 per cent.

Asked whether the launch of Optra would lead to the phasing out of GM India's existing mid-size car Opel Astra, Vij said both the models could co-exist in the same segment.

Answering another query on GMI's plans of launching the erstwhile Daewoo Motors India's premium small car Matiz as Chevrolet Spark, Vij said introducing cars from the GM stable weighs high on the company's priority list.

The car, to be manufactured at the Halol (Gujarat) plant, has been developed on a new platform, designed by GM Daewoo Automotive Technology, while the engine has been sourced from GM's Australian subsidiary, Holden.

GM India, which currently sources engines from its parent's subsidiaries worldwide, has signed a deal with the domestic automaker Hindustan Motors to locally produce engines.

He said the company has plans to manufacture diesel or automatic versions of the Optra but added that any such introduction would depend on the customer demand.

GMI would offer a unique two-year or 20,000 km of service warranty to Optra customers, which would include taking care of all service expenses including consumables and labour.

A subsidiary of the world's largest automaker, General Motors Corportion, the company also makes the mid-size car Opel Corsa as well its station wagon Opel Corsa Swing and hatchback vesions Corsa Sail. It also sells the imported Opel Vectra in the country.

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