General Motors to invest $1B in India, consolidate manufacturing operations

US auto major General Motors today said it will investment USD 1 billion (Rs 6,400 crore) to turnaround its fortune in the country, but said it will close its manufacturing plant at Halol, Gujarat to consolidate operations.

The company also said it will launch 10 new models from the Chevrolet family in the next five years.

This was announced at a press conference here by the company's CEO Mary Barra who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day.

The company will manufacturer it's vehicles from Talegaon in Maharashtra going forward.

Earlier in the year, General Motors had announced plans for a multiple-fold jump in exports from India apart from lining up two new models to be launched by 2016 here in a bid to make its Indian operations sustainable.

The company will launch the sports utility vehicle Chevrolet Trailblazer this year, followed by multi-purpose vehicle Chevrolet Spin next year.

While the Trailblazer would be imported from Thailand as a completely built unit, the Spin would be manufactured locally.

The company is looking at selling its vehicles in 30 countries in the next two years. Last year the company had exported 984 units to Chile and is targeting 19,000 units to over 30 plus countries, including Chile and Mexico.

The company, which started exporting to Chile from September last year, is looking at shipments of Beat and Spark models to overseas destinations.

For 2016, it has set an export target of 40,000 units.

General Motors has been in India since 1996 and has invested around a billion dollars so far in the country. As of last year, it reportedly had accumulated a loss of Rs 2,740 crore in its nearly two decades of existence in India.

Last year, Barra, during her visit to the country had underlined the Indian market as "very very important" considering the country has been predicted to be the third largest market behind the China and the US by 2020.

She, however, had reiterated that "to win in this market we need to make sure we come at the market place with great vehicles, that are not only safe, are of highest quality but are also dutifully designed and with right features so that they distinguish themselves".

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