General Motors (GM) India has no plans of bringing the Cadillac to the country anytime soon, said Ankush Arora, vice president (sales, marketing & after-sales). GM planned to launch the luxury brand Cadillac in India in 2009. But considering market sentiments GM must have delayed the launch of Cadillac in India.
Despite the slowdown, GM Chevrolet is going ahead with its planned launches in the country. The company has already launched Captiva (automatic) in January and will be launching the Chevy Cruze between August and September, and its small car by year-end popularly known as Chevrolet Beat .
Arora said, “In India, our business has been consistent in the last five years. We are a debt-free company and we don’t have to worry about paying our interest bills.” He said the company’s investments are made through equity injection and internal accruals.
GM India is now visible across all categories — A2, A3, A4. With Cruze, it will also enter the A5 category. The focus, however, wouldn’t be on any particular segment. Arora said, “The top end luxury segment is for creating brand image. You may not get volumes out of that but it becomes your brand’s identification. We expect volumes from the small car and the MUV segments, where we have the Spark/U-VA and Tavera, respectively. Together, these two constitute 80% of our volumes.”
Asked if Cruze is expected to cannibalise Optra Magnum, Arora said the upcoming car is positioned higher than the Optra Magnum. “There will be no cannibalisation. The Optra Magnum petrol variant starts from the Rs. 800,000 and goes up to Rs. 1,050,000. The Cruze will be in the Rs. 1.2-1.4 million bracket and is placed a little higher than the Honda Civic,” he said.
He said demand among consumers hasn’t fallen. “Footfalls in showrooms haven’t fallen. The problem is conversions as consumers are in a wait and watch mode and even if they do want to buy, financing is an issue,” he said.
The company will introduce the CNG and LPG versions of Aveo and Spark in the next 3-6 months. GM India will focus on increasing its share in the passenger cars market from the current 4% to 10% by end of 2010 and expects the Spark to drive this increase.
Source: DNA India