The Opel Corsa from the General Motors India stable will be on the Indian roads in January 2000. The three-box petrol car will be showcased at the Auto Expo 2000 and simultaneously launched in two variants -- one with a 1,400-cc engine and another with a 1,600-cc engine. The Corsa fits into the low end of the mid-size car segment.
General Motors India president and managing director Richard Swando says the car will be priced competitively against Maruti's Esteem and Fiat's Sienna. With almost 50 per cent indigenisation, the Corsa is expected to be priced low and be a popular car in the Indian market. The Corsa has done very well in the European market, selling some 1.2 million in 1998. The company will launch only the petrol initially; a diesel variant will be added after evaluating the market response, Mr Swando said.
The company aims to capture about 15 per cent of the 50,000-a-year market for the lower-end of the mid-size cars in the country. The car will be sold in smaller cities too, so that the company sales of 10,000 vehicles a year.
Meanwhile, GMI has introduced a limited edition of its Opel Astra -- called the Opel 100 -- to commemorate 100 years of manufacturing by Opel Adam AG.
Besides these cars, General Motors India is examining the viability of introducing a small car in the India market. However, the plans are tentative at the moment since the company is focusing on its Corsa launch. The company may also consider introducing a car that is than the Astra.
While the company has been announcing newer models and vehicles, its sales volume has actually shrunk. It could sell only 2,800 vehicles in 1998-99, against over 10,000 in 1997-98. The overcrowding in a shrinking market has been responsible for this, says Mr Swando. The company expects 20 per cent growth in Astra sales in the year ending March 2000.