GM restructures India operation and evaluates car portfolio to boost sales image

General Motors Co is restructuring its Indian operation and it is also evaluating its product portfolio, as it looks to revive falling sales and increase market share in the country, Asia’s third-largest economy.

Mary Barra, General Motors CEO, said that “There are many aspects of the business that we need to work on to make sure we are efficient. In China we play in the core of the segments and here in some cases we are more on the fringe or we are not across the major segments. What we are evaluating here is what the right product portfolio is.”

After declining for two years, car sales in India are being resuscitated and are expected to grow 5-10% this fiscal year (it started on April 1). According to IHS Automotive, India could become the world’s third-largest passenger car market by 2018, moving from sixth place.

GM plans to launch 40 new products in India and other international markets that exclude China, North America and Europe. Even if it has a portfolio that includes compact cars, General Motors has faced serious competition from Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co, Japan’s Honda Motor Co and Maruti Suzuki India, which together represent two thirds of the nation’s car sales. Entering India in 1994, GM witnessed its market share drop to 3.2% in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, from 3.3% the previous year.

By Gabriela Florea