General Motors Triples Its Sales. In India
That's right, the Chevrolet Spark is selling like hot naan in India. The Hindu reports GM manage to put 3,691 Sparks into peoples' driveways last month, up from just 1,286 the year before. For those of you not familiar with the decade-old Spark, it's also known as the Chevrolet Exclusive, Chevrolet Matiz, Chevrolet Joy, Daewoo Matiz, Pontiac Matiz, Pontiac G2, FSO Matiz, Chevrolet Taxi 7:24 Chronos and of course the hot sounding UZ Matiz (not to mention the Chery QQ). All variations of the Spark come with your choice of 0.8 and 1.0-liter engines. In contrast to the General's fortunes, India's overall auto market has experienced a bit of contraction, moving only 7,42,027 units through February vs. 8,27,594 vehicles the previous year. A big however, however, is in order. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM 'natch) counts motorcycle sales amongst the totals. If you look at just motorized four-wheeled transportation devices, they're up 2.31 percent.
On a monthly basis prior to the Spark launch, GM had a market share of 3.1% in Mar 07. Prior to that, UVA was launched in 12/06 but it did not sell. Then Spark was launched in 4/07, and it sells around 2,500-3000 per month, which is hardly anything in a 70,000 per month segment. Nevertheless, because of that market share jumped to 5.5% in 12/07, but is now down to 4.4% in 2/08. Even the Spark has not met with much success, and GM reduced prices by Rs. 40-50000 across variants in 10/07. Now for a car that sold for Rs. 340,000, that is a 15% price cut. That is a lot of feeling cheated for a budget segment buyer (who is the market for Spark). Even that price cut has not helped and Spark sales are between 2500-3500 in most months. It also sells an obsolete SUV Tavera (based on Isuzu) which sells in the cheap range of the segment. Its sedans-Aveo and Optra-are confirmed flops, with market share of 2.9% for Aveo and 13.3% for Optra.
The base effect for GM's sales growth in India will kick off in May 08 as shown below: Monthly sales Year on year growth 4/07 3293 -10.1%; 5/07: 5,432 56.2%; 6/07: 4,779 42.8%; 7/07: 4,570 86.5%; 8/07: 5,817 113.9%; 9/07: 5,751 64.0%; 10/07: 6,139 94.7%; 11/07: 5,356 109.7%; 12/07: 6,309 144.3%; 1/08: 5,517 46.1%; 2/08: 5,563 80.2% GM is presently selling 5,500-6000 per month in India. If it sells 6000 in 5/08, that represents a year on year growth of 10-10.5%, down from near triple digits. Wait for GM's India's press releases from May 08 onwards. They have no small cars planned.
of course it is a success. because so many good American designers and engineers have worked on this car. Building world class engines, polishing with their hands interiors and chatting in english, how they worship fit and finish and how proud they are being Americans, and how proud they are showing the world how to build real cars. :[[[[[