Chevrolet India is reported to cease operations on the back of huge losses endured in recent years; a formal announcement expected next month
Chevrolet has been reported to be putting an end to whole of its activities in India and an announcement regarding the shocking decision is expected to be made official sometime next month. The American auto giant has been selling cars in India for a very long time now but has not had a great deal of success.
With the entry of several new brands in the last decade or so, General Motors that runs Chevy has seen increase in competition in all the segments it competes in and seems to have run out of depth to tackle the ever demanding market scenario in India. Chevrolet has enjoyed a fair deal of success in its early days with the Spark, Beat and of course the Tavera utilitarian but it can be said that there has never been a showstopper or a benchmark product that came out of the stable to take the volume game to the next level.
GM has production plants in Halol, Gujarat and Talegaon Dabhade in Maharashtra with a combined production capacity of 225,000 vehicles annually. It has maintained its headquarters in Halol and Gurgaon and has a large technical center established in Bangalore. It has been just over four years since GM announced the purchase of 50 percent additional stake (to total of 93 percent) from its Chinese partner SAIC in its Indian operations but now everything seems to have turned on its head.
The global manufacturers who are successful in India have traditionally done their homework and understood the need of India-specific cars loaded with customers’ preferences. For example, Renault has the Kwid and the older Figo was completely built with Indian buyers in mind and VW recently introduced the Ameo with decent turn in sales numbers. Chevrolet had ambitious plans lineup with the new generation Sail twins but they triggered the downfall a few years ago.
Last month sales data suggests, no Enjoy MPV being sold in India while there was just one buyer in the whole of the country for the Sail UVA hatchback. The Cruze is a decent sales turner in the premium space for Chevrolet gracefully but with as little as 15 units for the Trailblazer and literally nothing for Captiva in most months, it would have been hard to keep the dealers in hold.
The conditions worsens from this month, as the Tavera workhorse cannot be sold due to BS4 restrictions. General Motors approached the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo with a newfound optimism as new products were hinted through the Beat Essentia and Beat Activ crossover showpieces. It was reported earlier that Chevy shelved the plans of Spin MPV but there was a slew of vehicles waiting in the pipeline like the Beat facelift, Essentia subcompact sedan, Trailblazer facelift and new-gen Cruze.
We have showed you the production-ready Beat and Essentia doing test runs not so long ago and they were hoped to launch in the coming months. However, as the investment of around US$1 billion is put on hold due to the sudden change in strategies and the unfavourable global economy, Chevy seems to be saying a goodbye!
The company endured losses four times its net worth in the year 2015-16 and seems to be stopping production at its Halol plant by the end of April 2017. Moreover, it was speculated to have halted production of right hand drive vehicles at Talegaon near Pune already. As automobile enthusiasts and writers, it is always sad to see a manufacturer quit but where has GM gone wrong despite years of expertise in India, we would love to know what you think down below!