According to Reuters, General Motors Co began initial production of its first ever Chinese-designed car for the Indian market recently, a major step for the U.S. automaker as it tries to scale up in a market where foreign companies have struggled.
India’s love for the small car and its highly competitive, price-sensitive market have confounded many of the world’s major automakers. The compact Sail, sold as a sedan and hatchback, will go on sale soon as the first model designed by GM’s Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corporation.
“Sail is in some ways perhaps the first vehicle designed with primarily Asian customer requirements.” GM India’s Lowell Paddock said. SAIC holds a 50 percent stake in the India unit. A larger passenger van from SAIC’s stable will begin production in India by the end of 2012.
What this means
It is yet unclear whether a China product can translate into the India market. India’s largest carmaker, Suzuki, has largely designed products directly for India. But it will be interesting to watch what happens here, since Automotive product design is so expensive, it makes sense to leverage similar knowledge.