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GM launches hatchback Chevrolet U-VA

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Entry model priced at Rs 3.99 lakh

HATCHBACK LAUNCH: (From left) The President and Managing Director, General Motors India Mr Rajiv Chaba; the Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Mr Ankush Arora; and the Vice-President, Corporate, Mr Balachandran, at the launch of Chevrolet Aveo U-VA car, in the Capital on Friday. — Kamal Narang

New Delhi , Dec. 22

General Motors on Friday launched its premium hatchback `Chevrolet Aveo U-VA,' as part of its strategy to achieve annual sales of 2,00,000 units by 2010.

The 1.2-litre Aveo U-VA, which will be pitted against segment leader Maruti's `Swift' and Hyundai's `Getz,' would be available in three variants with the base model being priced at Rs 3.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), matching the entry-level price offered by rivals.

The other two variants of the model have been priced at Rs 4.39 lakh and Rs 4.79 lakh respectively (ex-showroom Delhi) and the company offers the option of ABS on the top-end and airbags (after the next three months) for additional costs.

The General Motors India President and Managing Director, Mr Rajeev Chaba, said the company was banking on the success of the new model as well as the yet-to-be-launched Spark (a new avtaar of the erstwhile Daewoo Matiz) for garnering volumes. The Spark is likely to be rolled out by the second quarter of the next year.

Speaking on the new Aveo U-VA, Mr Chaba said, "We have re-engineered the car to suit Indian conditions and it carries a local content of less than 50 per cent, which we plan to take up to about 55 per cent in the coming time."

This is the second attempt by the company in the premium hatchback segment, after the `Corsa Sail.' "We have learnt our lessons and have tuned our strategies accordingly," Mr Chaba said.

Meanwhile, the company is also considering to introduce some of its premium offerings in India, including the Cadillac. It also plans to launch the `Captiva' SUV in the next year.

General Motors, which is increasing capacity at its Halol plant in Gujarat to 85,000 units, is setting up a second facility at Talegaon in Maharashtra, which is expected to be operational by 2008 and have a capacity of about 1,40,000 units.

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