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GM to invest $1B in India, launch 10 new Chevy vehicles

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co. said Wednesday it will invest $1 billion in India as part of a $5 billion investment into new Chevrolet vehicles in global growth markets.

The automaker said the investment in India includes producing 10 new Chevy vehicles in the next five years, beginning with the Trailblazer this October and Spin MPV in early 2017. GM is betting that the new vehicles will help Chevy double its 1.8 percent market share in India by 2020.

India is expected to become one of the world’s three largest auto markets by 2020.

GM CEO Mary Barra was in Delhi, India, for the announcement and to meet with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was Barra’s second visit to India in a year.

“Chevrolet is committed to India for the longterm,” Barra said in a statement. “We are delivering on our promise and doubling our investment in India. This will allow us to provide our Indian customers the great vehicles they want and the world-class customer experience they deserve. It will also support the government’s Make in India program.”

The company, though, loses money in India, Reuters reported.

GM said its new investment and growth plans could add 12,000 new jobs to GM India and its suppliers. The automaker said it has invested $1 billion in India since 1996.

On Tuesday, GM said it will spend $5 billion over several years on a new family of Chevys for emerging markets including Brazil, China, India and Mexico. GM is co-developing the core architecture and an engine with SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. in China and expects eventually to sell more than 2 million of the new vehicles a year.

The carmaker also announced Tuesday that it will spend $3.8 billion U.S. in Brazil from 2014-19, doubling its investment there, in hopes to increase sales in that country.

GM in India also said it will stop production at its Halol factory in the second half of 2016, reducing its capacity in the country to produce more than 280,000 vehicles a year. Instead, it will strengthen its newer Talegaon manufacturing site, which will become an export hub. GM said it is boosting production capacity at that facility to 220,000 vehicles from 130,000 by 2025. The carmaker said it expects more than 30 percent of production annually will be for markets outside India.

“The new global vehicle family we just announced will have several different body styles designed to meet the expectations of the Indian consumer,” GM International President Stefan Jacoby said in a statement. “The vehicles will be manufactured and sold in India and feature striking styling that has never been seen here before. They will also be exported worldwide.”

Last year, GM and Chevy sold 56,700 vehicles in India.

mburden@detroitnews.com