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GM To Launch 40 New Cars In India, Other Markets; CEO Meets Modi

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US-based General Motors plans to launch 40 new products in international markets including India, where it is focusing on a turnaround.

"In Europe we will be launching 27 new Opel models between this year and 2018. In the US from 2013-14, we have launched 32 new vehicles. In China, with our partners, we have introduced new or upgraded 17 models this year and in international operations, including India, we have 40 new products," General Motors CEO Mary Barra told reporters in New Delhi.

However, she did not give any timeframe for the launches in India.

The General Motors CEO also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

When asked about the agenda for meeting the Prime Minister, Barra told reporters here: "I just want to congratulate him".

On the significance of the Indian market, Barra said: "Indian market is very very important when you look at the fact that many are predicting that by 2020 timeframe it would be the third largest market behind the China and the US. A very significant market, I see a lot of opportunity here from the market perspective."

She added that to succeed in India the company requires to come out with great vehicles.

"It starts with putting customer at the centre. When you look at customer in India they got great choices. So to win in this market we need to make sure we come at the market place with great vehicles, that are not only safe, are of highest quality but are also dutifully designed and with right features so that they distinguish themselves," Barra said.

General Motors has been in India since 1996 and has invested about a billion dollars so far in the country.

When asked bout the lessons learnt in the Indian market, Barra said: "We have learnt a lot that gives us a lot of foundation to build on as we look to the future. At General Motors our goal is clear, we want to be highly respected, valued auto company globally.

"To demonstrate that you need to demonstrate years after year of growth and frankly if you are not in Indian market it makes it very difficult."

Reiterating the importance of new launches in the Indian market, Barra said: "Right here in India about 75 per cent of our sales are new or majorly redesigned products, we know that is our lifeline here".

GM, which has reportedly accumulated a loss of Rs 2,740 crore in its nearly two decades of existence in India, is now focusing on bringing a right product in right segment in the country.

When asked about the company's plans despite having a dismal return on investment in the country so far, Barra said: "I think we have been here for a long time. We are making sure of bringing right product in a right segment".

In order to to study the Indian market, Barra is meeting with dealers, suppliers and other stakeholders, in order to bring about changes.

GM India had reported 36.58 per cent decline in August sales at 4,232 units, as against 6,673 units sold in the same month of last year.

General Motors, which is present in India through a wholly-owned subsidiary, sells various models including multi purpose vehicle Chevrolet Tavera and hatchback Beat here.

Last year, the company had recalled 1.14 lakh units of its multi-purpose vehicle Chevrolet Tavera, manufactured between 2005 and 2013, to address emissions and specification issues.