P. Balendran, Vice President, General Motors India says demand is subdued owing to high interest rates and weak economic conditions. Union government had earlier in 2014 extended tax concessions to boost Indian auto industry sales. Reported withdrawal of excise duty benefits comes as a jolt for the automobile industry.
He doesn’t foresee positive movements in the short-term unless government makes big-ticket announcements in the upcoming budget to fuel consumer sentiment revival. The auto manufacturer’s Talegaon facility has an annual production capacity of 170,000 vehicles and 160,000 engines, and has been under utilised for long. In September this year, General Motors India started vehicle exports to Chile, beginning with left-hand-drive Chevrolet Beats.
As Chevrolet works on making India-built products available in global markets by shipping models to Chile on a monthly basis, GM is looking to identify additional export markets going forward to improve capacity utilisation at the Talegaon plant.