General Motors India on Monday said it is planning to enhance its vendor base and increase the number of dealers amid rising sales and also because of its plan to enter the light commercial vehicle space by next year.
“We plan to increase our dealership network to over 260 by end of this year against 200 now, and also intend to have 300 service centres,” its president and managing director Karl Slym said here.
The Halol facility in Gujarat is projected to operate in three shifts to cater to production of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and the automaker plans to hire new suppliers for it as well. The Halol facility has an installed annual capacity to roll out 85,000 units.
The company has proposed to separate its products from its joint venture partner in the China-Sanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAICG), and has chosen LCVs from that portfolio to be manufactured at Halol.
“The production of LCVs is expected to commence by the end of 2011,” Mr. Slym said adding “by then we expect to have a vendor base of close to 200 from the existing 150.”
“The Halol plant has already begun operating in two shifts and is producing close to 72,000 units annually,” director and vice-president for corporate affairs P. Balendran said at the function.
GM’s sales surged by a whopping 130 per cent in first quarter of 2010 over the same period last year.” We have sold around 9,421 units in January, 11,111 in February and 11,324 units in March,” Mr. Balendran said.
As part of its initiative to switch over to alternative fuels, the company is expected to roll out its electric version of its small car Electric Spark by the end of 2010, Mr. Slym said. GM has a joint venture with Reva for rolling out electronic cars.
“We have a potential of 5,000 cars a year to begin with, but it all depends on the government support,” Mr. Slym said, adding the Chevrolet-Volt, a battery operated car, will be launched in the U.S. by end of this year.