GM India to Stop Automobile Sales in India by End of 2017, Will Manufacture For Export Only!
United States’ largest automobile manufacturer General Motors has decided to cease its automobile operations in India by the end of 2017. The Detroit-based automobile manufacturer has its largest brand, Chevrolet in India for the past two decades.
This news comes at a time of restructuring decisions taken at the headquarters. The German and Japanese companies have long ruled the Indian market and continue to do so. This means Chevrolet’s line-up, Beat, Cruze, Trailblazer, Sail, Tavera, Spark, Enjoy and Sail Hatchback will not more be available for customers from next year.
The company sold only 25,823 units in FY2016-2017 and the market share has dropped below 1 percent in India. This is very surprising news considering Chevrolet Beat and Cruze were selling like hot cakes at one point of time.
“We explored many options, but determined the increased investment originally planned for India would not deliver the returns of other significant global opportunities,” said Stefan Jacoby, GM’s Executive Vice President and President of GM International.
However, much has also been an issue from GM’s side – the cars were not getting refreshed on time and lacked a good after sales service in India. Despite local sales, Chevrolet’s exports are increasing every year and this is where the company wants to focus.
What does this mean for the Indian market?
Chevrolet fans will be disheartened because none of the other GM’s cars like Chevrolet Camaro and Chevrolet Malibu will be coming to the Indian shores anymore, which is strange since Ford Mustang launched a while back.
The good news is that GM is not pulling out of India. It is only ceasing domestic sales but will continue to focus on exports from here. The exports have risen by 100% in the last year, which is why the need to continue to export. India exports Chevrolet cars to Mexico and other Latin American countries.
The tech centre in Bengaluru will also not be impacted. “We are not giving up benefits India offers as a local cost manufacturing hub with an excellent supplier base which is extremely competitive,” said Jacoby.
The company has also confirmed that customers will continue to receive service support, and all warranties and service agreements, as well as ongoing service and parts requirements for all vehicles, will be provided. Existing owners needn’t worry much because GM India has made enough plans to continue providing support.
This news does come as a shocker because GM has been in India for a very long time, and Chevrolet made a statement with the Cruze sedan in India. However, it seems like the competition is too fierce and Chevrolet is not able to create a product strategy for the Indian market.