• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
  • Editorial Calendar 19-20
BW Businessworld

GM: From China, With Love

Photo Credit :

Putting speculations to rest, GM India unveiled the first two products from its Chinese partnership Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) - premium hatchback Sail and the MPV Concept.

The vehicles are expected to be launched later this year. "Sail hatchback will be available in India by the middle of this year, while the MPV (based on Wuling CN-100) will be launched by the end of 2012," Lowell Paddock, president and MD, GM India said.

Both the vehicles will be powered by new Smartech engines, which will be high capacity versions of the existing 1.0 litre diesel engine in Beat.

These engines will be manufactured at GM India's Talegaon plant near Pune,  said a company spokesperson. He also said that the vehicles will be competitively priced.

Dispelling doubts about the products being Chinese – a term used in India for low-quality, less durable products, the company said the two products were developed in India for Indian needs. And they were indeed sporting GM's golden bowtie.

"Engineers at the GM Technical Center in Bangalore spent one and a half years on the platforms to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Indian market," Paddock added.

The two vehicles will increase GM India's reach in the volume segments – hatchbacks and the latest obsession utility vehicles. 

Apart from showcasing and unveiling of various new models and concept vehicles, General Motors India has also introduced its new top boss – Lowell Paddock at the auto show. While the American automaker has on display some of the most futuristic cars including Volt, Beat Electric Vehicle and EN-V, what is more interesting is that Paddock was responsible for the integration of Shanghai GM with GM's small, compact and midsize global architectural development teams. This comes at a time when GM is expected to bring Wuling CN-100 MPV and another van to India from its GM-SAIC partnership.  

The company has invested over $1 billion in India and employs close to 4,500 people directly at its operations at Halol, Talegaon, Bangalore and Gurgaon. GM is also planning to introduce light commercial vehicles this year for which its Halol plant is going under capacity expansion.