GM Brings Chinese Cars To India

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
gm brings chinese cars to india

When you want to make and sell cars in India, you don’t need a joint venture partner. Except when you are GM. In the dark days of December 2009, GM cut a deal with Chinese partner SAIC, gave them half of its India business and a golden share in China for much needed cash. SAIC underwrote a $400 million loan when GM was out of money. Now, India is flooded with Chinese cars bearing the Chevrolet badge.

GM began initial production of the Chevrolet Sail, its “first ever Chinese-designed car for the Indian market,” writes Reuters. Officially, the small Sail was designed by GM’s PATAC tech center in Shanghai. Reuters says that car was “designed by GM’s Chinese partner SAIC” instead., and it claims Lowell Paddock, President of GM India as the source. He is full of praise for its Chinese partner:

“”What SAIC brings to us is more of a regional focus and more of an emerging market focus. Sail is in some ways perhaps the first vehicle designed with primarily Asian customer requirements.”

Another Chinese design will follow shortly. The Chevrolet MPV Concept is a rebadged GM-Wuling Hong Guang microvan.

According to Reuters “GM needs a shot in the arm” in India. GM’s India sales fell 11 percent in the first six months of 2012, while the market rose 10 percent.

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3 of 9 comments
  • Jean-Pierre Sarti Jean-Pierre Sarti on Sep 05, 2012

    Bertel, If GM really wanted to get into the Indian market why don't they just buy or buy into Suzuki? I don't know much about the business side of things but I know Suzuki has decades of history in India. Starting about 5 years ago I have personally seen a strong anti-Chinese products sentiment in my family and friends in India.

    • Mike978 Mike978 on Sep 05, 2012

      VW tried that and it didn`t work. GM has a poor history of alliances so I cannot see a GM-Suzuki relationship working.

  • 2012JKU 2012JKU on Sep 05, 2012

    A Chevrolet with Chinese quality and engineering built in! That cannot possibly go wrong. I can see generations of Indians turned off from buying a GM product. No big loss, the ones around here only buy Honda and Toyota products anyways. They would not be caught dead driving a Chevrolet.

  • Probert There's something wrong with that chart. The 9 month numbers for Tesla, in the chart, are closer to Tesla's Q3 numbers. They delivered 343,830 cars in q3 and YoY it is a 40% increase. They sold 363,830 but deliveries were slowed at the end of the quarter - no cars in inventory. For the past 9 months the total sold is 929,910 . So very good performance considering a major shutdown for about a month in China (Covid, factory revamp). Not sure if the chart is also inaccurate for other makers.
  • ToolGuy "...overall length grew only fractionally, from 187.6” in 1994 to 198.7” in 1995."Something very wrong with that sentence. I believe you just overstated the length by 11 inches.
  • ToolGuy There is no level of markup on the Jeep Wrangler which would not be justified or would make it any less desirable [perfectly inelastic demand, i.e., 'I want one']. Source: My 21-year-old daughter.
  • ToolGuy Strong performance from Fiat.
  • Inside Looking Out GM is like America, it does the right thing only after trying everything else.  As General Motors goes, so goes America.