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GM evaluating options for Spark launch — 'Small car crucial for expanding market share'

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Oct. 25

GENERAL Motors India (GMI) has sewn up plans to launch three more products from the GM stable next year and is considering various options for the launch of its small car Spark in the country.

The President and Managing Director of GMI, Mr Rajeev Chaba, said, "We are keen to bring in the small car into the Indian market. Given our plans to expand the share from 3 per cent now to 10 per cent by 2010, small car is crucial."

"However, the small car strategy was to be based on the acquisition of the Daewoo assets at its defunct plant. We have decided to stay away from this and are now seriously considering as to how and where the small car can be assembled. This has temporarily delayed its launch. We are also considering the option of assembling at the Halol plant, but nothing as yet has been finalised," he said.

"This means the small car launch could possibly happen only in 2007. In the meantime, we expect to roll out Aveo hatch and notchbacks in early 2006. The Aveo hatch would be pitted in the growing Getz and Swift segment, and its three-box version would be in the Honda City segment. Alongside this, we are also considering the option of bringing in diesel version of Chevy Optra," Mr Chaba pointed out.

"Though the automobile industry grew at a healthy pace for a few years till 2004, registering about a 20 per cent growth, the projected 15 per cent growth is unlikely this year. It could hover at about 6-7 per cent this year in spite of good economic fundamentals. However, over the next 3-4 years, the industry will grow at about 10 per cent a year," he said.

Mr Chaba was in Hyderabad to inaugurate Orange Auto, a GM-authorised workshop.

While a GM car is being serviced there, an owner can opt for being dropped at his workplace or if he chooses to be at the workshop, he can relax in the lounge watching TV and browse magazines or the Net.

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