Putting the ‘recall woes’ of the past year firmly behind, General Motors India has decided to embark on a new product offensive in a bid to grow over 6 per cent this year.
“GM India has put in place strict processes to ensure that any such untoward incidents do not happen again. We have started 2014 on a fresh page, and are focussed on new product offensives this year such as the recently-launched all new Chevrolet Beat,” P. Balendran, Vice- President, GM India, told The Hindu.
Tavera developments did not impact the brand, he asserted. The overall sales volume came down since it had stopped production temporarily, he admitted. “After the necessary engineering validation, approvals for both BS-III and BS-IV have been taken and production and sale have also commenced. Field fix for the recalled vehicle have also started, and everything is in full swing. We have also rectified more than 13,000 recalled vehicles so far,” he added.
The company was caught in a controversy after it voluntarily recalled 1.14 lakh units of its utility vehicle Chevrolet Tavera in July last. It was found guilty of violating India’s emission testing norms by a government committee.
GM is now busy focusing on new launches. With its all-new Chevrolet Beat hatchback, the company is confident of boosting volumes in a segment that is experiencing sluggish growth.
The new Beat is priced between Rs.3.98 lakh and Rs.6 lakh (ex-showroom, Chennai) in ten variants with three fuel (petrol, diesel and LPG) options. “Even though sales in the entry-hatchback segment have been hit for the past two years due to high interest rates and firm fuel prices, the recent tax cuts will definitely provide the much needed impetus to the entry-car segment,” said Mr. Balendran.
The company intends to grow more than the projected industry growth rate of 6 per cent this year.
Its share in the Indian passenger vehicle market (includes cars and utility vehicles) has been stagnant at 3.5 per cent.