Chennai: In the backdrop of the car market remaining sluggish, US auto major General Motors India expects to register a two percent growth this financial year, a top company official said on Monday.
"...This year, we should be able to register growth in tandem with the market (by two percent)," General Motors India Vice-President P Balendran said here.
He was responding to a query on how much the company expects to grow in 2012-13 compared to last year.
"The industry will not grow more than two percent (in this financial year)," he said, adding: "Last year (2011-12), in the beginning, we(industry) all thought that the market is likely to grow somewhere around 12-14 percent. By the time the year got close, the growth was somewhere around only two percent".
General Motors had sold about 92,435 units in the domestic market last year, down 17 percent compared to 2011 he said.
The company last year phased out three products, including premium sedan Optra, mid-size sedan Aveo and hatchback U-VA resulting a decline in sales.
On the launch of the company's first multi-purpose vehicle 'Enjoy', he said it is expected to be unveiled by March-end or April and it would be 'competitively' priced.
After launching the entry-level sedan 'Sail' in Tamil Nadu at a price of Rs 4.99 lakh onwards (ex-showroom Chennai) today, Balendran said the company hopes to sell about 48,000 units per annum, including its hatchback -- Sail U-VA across India.
He said the entry-level sedan market has been consistently growing at 41 percent over the last three years, comprising 40,000 units per month.
"The (passenger car) market continues to remain sluggish. It is expected to improve only when the interest rates comes down. As far as my expectation is concerned, the market is expected to improve only after the budget, so in the second quarter," he said.
On government deregulating diesel prices and allowing oil marketing companies to increase 50 paise increase every month, he said, "We are in favour of it. Because passenger car diesel consumption is only 1.06 percent (of the total diesel consumption in India)".
Meanwhile, a company statement said General Motors Halol facility in Gujarat is undergoing "capacity expansion" for its plan to introduce light commercial vehicles in the domestic market.
On completion in the next few months, it would witness a capacity increase to 1.10 lakh units from 85,000 units, it said.
The Halol unit would manufacture LCVs in addition to other products, including Tavera and Captiva, it added.
First Published: Monday, February 4, 2013, 21:19