Monday, December 03, 2012


“Nothing’s gonna change my love for you...” says GM to India! They seem to be getting along quite fine. And it seems, quite ironically, that while GM missed out on the key basics in its home market, it seems to have gone by the book and achieved quite considerable success in India. It has been said that the child is the father of the man. Irrespective of whether the parent ever regains, or even hopes to regain its former glory, amidst all the muddle it has gotten itself into, GM in India has smartly got itself into a position where it can catapult itself into the next league and in fact use India as a hub to expand its ambitions into other emerging markets. We proceed to explain the five basic reasons why we firmly believe that GM India is definitely slated for a bright future.

reason #1: getting taller and fatter by the day! Interestingly, staying away from the gloomy picture back home, GM’s India division believes that its fate does not rely on the approval or denial of the bailout package by the White House, as P. Balendran, Vice President, General Motors India, asserts, “All our product programmes are met by internal accruals and ours is a debt free company. The chaos in the US will not hit the India division of the company.” And the sheer optimism of Balendran seems to be backed by a lot of figures.

Some time back, the company was not looking very promising with its India operations. Its American lineage was placing it at a considerable disadvantage with Indians perceiving its cars as fuel guzzlers. People were writing the company off based on its sales performance with respect to Japanese brands, particularly Honda and Toyota, which had a perception of being best in class, thanks to the Japanese image. At that time, B&E had carried a feature on the company (in 2005) and said that the small cars would help the company gain a strong footing in the market. Sure enough, mainly after the launch of the compact Spark and Aveo’s variant U-VA, the company gained momentum in the year 2007 and then there was no looking back.

The company has used the premium brand image of the Chevrolet brand and extended it quite effectively in the small car category, as the brand communicates a ‘best in its class positioning’. After the company registered a figure of 60,000 units in the year 2007, moving ahead at a growth rate of 63% as compared to 2006, GM India has already attained a sales figure of 65,000 units till the month of November, 2008 (SIAM). “We expect to sell close to 75,000 to 78,000 units this year, registering a growth of about 20% in 2008,” asserts Balendran. Well, at a time when the overall auto industry is growing at a meagre rate of 2-5%, GM India is pacing past all others with a 20% growth rate and this is surely raising many eyebrows towards GM in the sector.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.An Initiative of IIPMMalay Chaudhuri

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