GM re-evaluates India investment, new car platform on hold

Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:27am EDT
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By Aditi Shah

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - General Motors (GM.N: Quote) is re-evaluating its planned $1 billion investment in India and has put on hold moves to bring a new car platform to the country, company officials said.

The strategy rethink comes after GM's India sales fell by nearly 40 percent in the year to March 30, with its share of the domestic passenger vehicle market now below 1 percent. Sagging sales and a regulatory crackdown on diesel-powered vehicles are now forcing GM to redraw revise its plans.

The U.S. automaker had previously committed to investing $1 billion in India to double its market share to 3.6 percent by 2020 and make the country a global export hub.

"The billion dollars was committed based on a certain product portfolio," Jack Uppal, vice president for marketing at GM India, told Reuters.

"As the product program could change, the amounts that are required to invest would also change."

GM's original $1 billion plan included, among other things, the launch of a multi-purpose vehicle, Spin, and a new modular platform designed to build low-cost cars for emerging markets.

"We are conducting a full review of our future product program in India," Swati Bhattacharya, a spokeswoman at GM India, said in a statement.

"As a result, we are also putting on hold future investment in our all-new vehicle family in India until we firm our product portfolio plan."   Continued...

Employees work inside the General Motors plant in Talegaon, about 118 km (73 miles) from Mumbai September 4, 2012. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui