GM Shows First Fruits Of Indian JV With China's SAIC

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
gm shows first fruits of indian jv with china s saic

In GM’s darkest hour, in December 2009, GM and SAIC cut a strange deal: GM ceded control of the 50:50 China joint venture by selling 1 percent to SAIC. GM also transferred half of GM’s India operations to the Chinese company. GM received a $400 million line of credit. SAIC received access to the Indian market, which it had coveted, but the Indians had sworn to keep the Chinese out. Now they rode in on GM’s coattails.

At the New Delhi auto expo, GM India yesterday “unveiled the first two products from its joint venture with SAIC,” while our friends of Motorbeam.com were in attendance to snap pictures.

As announced two years ago, the first products are of the “small trucks and passenger cars” variant, but not much else survived the test of time.

The passenger car is not the Nano-killing $ 3,500 sub-Spark model that was dreamt up by the Indian press last year, and the truck is no cheap Wuling.

The car is a “Chevrolet Sail premium hatchback,” and the truck is a big 8-seater MPV, spacious enough for big Indians with big families.

Not much else is available officially on the two cars. The Sail will have “GM India’s latest Smartech engines,” in both gasoline and diesel engines (but wait until you read which one.) Speaking of fuel, it is housed in a fuel tank in the middle of the car, surrounded by “steel beam-rolling ribs” and the members of the family.

The MPV is just a concept. It has input from Lotus, which worked with GM India “for more than a year and a half to tune the chassis.”

The choice of diesel engines is interesting: According to Motorbeam, the diesel engine both for the Sail and the MPV concept will get a 1.3 liter FIAT diesel engine. This is not in the official press release.


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  • AMC_CJ AMC_CJ on Jan 06, 2012

    FIAT engine or VM-Motori engine?

    • Camchennai Camchennai on Jan 08, 2012

      Fiat and GM jointly developed Diesel engines couple of years back, so one of it would be used. Already Chevrolet Beat which is sold in India uses a 1 liter Diesel engine which was jointly developed with Fiat. AFAIK, GM can use these jointly developed engines without paying any royalty fees or licensing fees.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Jan 06, 2012

    The Motorbeam report about sourcing the engines with Fiat doesn't make a lot of sense. Fiat does have an engine plant in India, but then so does GM, purpose built for a variety of low-displacement engines (up to 1.5L). It just opened last year and is capable of building both gasoline and diesel engines. http://green.autoblog.com/2010/11/27/general-motors-opens-companys-first-flexi-engine-plant-in-india/

  • VoGhost We're at the point where the stock price is no longer relevant; focus on how the debt is priced.
  • MaintenanceCosts Nice color combo. Worth noting that this is not a conventional automatic but an automated manual, which gets you all the roughness of a real manual with none of the fun. Also not sure why everyone loves the V10 so much; it sounds more UPS truck than performance car except at the extreme high end of the tach. Having said that the E60's looks have aged VERY well; the car looks nicer now than it did when it was new.
  • Kcflyer just happy it's not black, white or silver. hooray for color choice
  • Matt Posky I paid a little under $300 bucks per month to park in Queens and was told by everyone else with a car that it was a great deal. Parking in Manhattan is typically far more expensive to rent and often involves waiting 20 minutes while someone fetches your car. Unless it was a secure garage where you yourself have 24 hour access directly to the vehicle, and it was less than a block away, there is no scenario in which I would actually purchase a parking spot in Manhattan.
  • Jeff S VoGhost--He is a Russian troll.
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