GM bets on Sail, Enjoy brands for sales turnaround

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The US carmaker General Motors, which has been battling with falling volumes in the past several months due to sluggish market conditions, seeks to get back to growth mode with three new launches in the next three-four months. The company expects its new Sail platform to be the game changer for the company in the immediate term.

While it has just rolled out premium hatchback Sail U-VA, it will be launching the sedan version of Sail and a new compact MUV Enjoy during Q1 of 2013.

GM’s new premium hatchback Sail U-VA, first model coming out of its Chinese partner SAIC, comes with an aggressive price and is pitted against Maruti Swift, Hyundai i20, Ford Figo and Toyota Liva. Sail U-VA has already been selling in several markets and is reported to be occupying No.1 or No.2 position in its segment in the most of the markets. Launched in 2010, Sail U-VA has sold over five lakh units globally.

Sail U-VA comes with a price tag in the range between Rs 4.4 lakh and Rs 6.6 lakh (ex-show room, New Delhi) and be available in both petrol and diesel variants. Petrol variant promises a mileage of 18 kmpl, while diesel variant assures a fuel economy of 22 kmpl.

P Balendran, vice-president – corporate affairs, GM India said despite sluggish market conditions the company expects to grow in line with the industry and expects the new hatchback to bring more volumes. “We hope to garner about 50,000 units a year through the two models of Sail,” he added.

During the January-October period, the company saw about 17 per cent decline in its total volumes at about 78,000 units as against 93,000 units in the same period last year. The company sold 111,510 units in India in 2011.

Normally, festive season would bring about 20 per cent additional sales, but this time it was subdued. However, it expects to boost the sales with the launch of its new products.

General Motors expects the current trend of preference to diesel models to continue in view of the big price difference between diesel and petrol. “As long as the price gap between petrol and diesel is over Rs 20 per litre, there will be demand for diesel cars,” he said.

With diesel option in almost all its models and flexible engine facility at Talegaon, Maharashtra, the company is confident of meeting the rise in demand for diesel models. “We have adequate diesel portfolio with better engines – Beat, Cruz, Tavera, Captiva and now Sail. Its hatchback Beat, best selling model of GM in India, sells 85 per cent in diesel variants as against 20 per cent about two-three years ago.


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