GM to stop car sales in India; to focus on exports

General Motors India will stop selling cars in India, the world's fastest growing passenger vehicle market, by the end of 2017 and instead focus on exports from the country.

The decision, which follows a comprehensive review of future product plans for GM India, is part of a series of actions steps taken by General Motors to address the performance of its operations worldwide.

Through the review, which began in June 2016, the company determined its greatest opportunity in India to drive shareholder return was on focusing on exports.

''We explored many options, but determined the increased investment originally planned for India would not deliver the returns of other significant global opportunities. It would also not help us achieve a leadership position or compelling, long-term profitability in the domestic market,'' said Stefan Jacoby, GM executive vice president and president of GM International.

''Difficult as it has been to reach this decision, it is the right outcome to support our global strategy and deliver appropriate returns for our shareholders,'' he added.

The plan is consistent with GM's global allocation of capital and investment in its business around the world and is designed to generate stronger returns and drive shareholder value.

''Our decision in India is an important milestone in strengthening the performance of our GM International operations and establishing GM as a more focused and disciplined company,'' said Jacoby.

As GM moved to consolidate Indian manufacturing at its Talegaon Assembly Plant, the company ceased manufacturing at its Halol assembly plant on 28 April 2017. Negotiations continue on the asset sale at Halol.

Kaher Kazem, GM India president and managing director, said the focus for the GM India manufacturing base at Talegaon will be export markets, forthcoming export-led vehicle launches and exploring longer-term strategic options.

GM India's export business has tripled over the past year, Kazem said, adding, exports would the company's focus in the future as it continues to leverage India's strong supply base. "We recently launched the new Chevrolet Beat hatchback for export to Mexico and Central and South American markets and will launch the Chevrolet Beat sedan later this year for those markets.

''We will support our affected customers, employees, dealers and suppliers,'' Kazem added. ''Chevrolet owners can be assured that we will continue to honor all warranties and provide comprehensive after-sales support.''

The company said it would work closely with affected customers and dealers on a transition plan. The customer support center will remain open and all warranties and service agreements, as well as ongoing service and parts requirements for all vehicles, will continue to be honoured

It said on its website, "Chevrolet India is committed to maintain a service network across key locations in India with staff trained to take care of all the needs of your Chevrolet for maintenance and repair. We will continue to honour your original Chevrolet vehicle warranty as well as supporting you through Chevrolet's Roadside Assistance. We will continue to provide spare parts for your Chevrolet to support maintenance and repair of your vehicle."