GM to seek Chinese help to counter Nano
In a bid to counter the smart turn out of Tata’s Nano small car, General Motors is exploring the Chinese help, it is learnt. According to the company’s President for International Operations, all possibilities are taken into account for this purpose. The deal struck with the Chinese car company SAIC on 50% stake in GM India is seen as a potential source to penetrate the entry-level car market in India. As of now, GM’s small car segment has Chevrolet Spark [images], Beat [images], Aveo [images] (designed in Korea on Daewoo platform). The new approach by GM is seen as a U-turn, from its earlier stand that the Nano’s success had no implication on its strategy. It is estimated that the first lot of GM’s deal with Chinese companies Wuling and SAIC will be on roads from the end of 2011 in India.
The products expected are Wuling Rongguang and Sunshine, both to be built at GM’s Talegaon and Halol plants in India. The tripartite venture among these companies will have the secured portfolio of cars- passenger and commercial vehicles -in India. The JV has made the Chinese companies happier than GM, anticipating more opportunities for the members. The official from SAIC claimed that the models meant for India are GM’s global range and not belong to Chinese invention. GM has a twin purpose in joining hands with the Chinese company- giving an access to the brand which ruling global market and inducing sensitivity of India towards Chinese companies. The Indian government has earlier banned the entry of the Chinese telecom Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp on security terms. GM has no concern over the SAIC stake of 50% in its Indian operations. GM has cleared all such aversions and hue and cries. The products expected from GM’s Halol and Talegaon plants are Wuling minivans and Chevy Sail. GM views this deal with the Chinese companies as a step towards making the company as a volume player in India.