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GM to phase out old models

BS Reporter/New Delhi 28 Jun 12 | 12:23 AM

General Motors India on Wednesday said it was looking at phasing out some of its old models such as the Aveo and the Optra and replace these with new ones.

Lowell Paddock, president and managing director said, “We will launch the Sail in both hatchback and sedan versions in the next few months. This will replace the Aveo U-VA hatchback and Aveo sedan."

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The company is likely to follow a similar strategy for sedan Optra which is ageing and has seen demand tapering over the last few months. “Like every other car, Optra also has its own life-cycle. This model is ageing, but still there is steady demand for the car in some parts of the country. We will take a call in certain point of time to phase out this model too", Paddock added.

In the meantime, the company is gearing up to launch multi-purpose vehicle Enjoy which is expected to give GM some traction in the fast-growing utility vehicle segment in the country. “We have launched the new Cruze today to strengthen our presence in premium sedans. The UV segment has grown by 57 per cent this year. We will enter new categories with the Sail and Enjoy to build volumes", said Sumit Sawhney, vice-president (sales, marketing & after sales),General Motors India. The company launched a completely new diesel variant of its premium sedan Cruze for Rs 13.85-15.67 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

To prevent inventory build-up amid the current slowdown in thedomestic automobile market, Genral Motors is adjusting production by having no production days (NPDs) at its factories. "Last week, we had one NPD and we are planning to have one in this week," Paddock informed without sharing the volume of the production cut.

The company's Halol facility in Gujarat has an installed capacity of 85,000 units annually, while the Talegaon plant in Maharashtra can produce up to 140,000 units a year.

Last month, the company produced 5,986 units, down 24.06 per cent from the same period last year. For the April-May period this year, the company’s production is down 20.6 per cent, compared with the corresponding period last year at 15,302 units, according to data available with Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. Paddock further said GM India's production of MPV Tavera has been affected due to labour issues at one of its suppliers -- Argentum Motors.

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