The call of the rural markets is proving irresistible for General Motors India (GMI), now in the midst of rolling out three models of the Aveo - E, L and LS - replacements for the Corsa.
The rural markets thrust will come through increasing its dealer network in places with a GM vehicle population of 75 cars.
“We will go to the C, D and even E class towns with our dealerships. These will be mainly satellite dealerships for our existing dealers, although this year we will target C and D class towns.
The E class towns will be targeted next year. We will open satellite dealerships wherever the GM vehicle population is over 75 cars,” Ankush Arora, vice president (marketing, sales and after sales), GMI, said.
The rural thrust has come with the success of the Tavera, which has seen average sales of 2,000 units per month. By December '06, GMI will have 110 showrooms, from the current 77, across the country.
GMI has invested Rs 100 crore in its Halol, Gujarat facility for three new car lines. The Aveo, which currently has 38% local content, will, in three months, be 54% indigenised, Mr Arora said.
Taking a leaf from the FMCG sector, GMI has floated the concept of “introductory pricing.” So, although it has adopted a single price for the country, with some differences due to octroi, the prices announced are introductory, for a 30/45-day period. “Our introductory offer pricing depends on demand, and, initially, it will be for a month to 45 days,” Mr Arora stated.
The 1.4-litre Aveo E, the base level car priced at Rs. 5.55 lakh, will be launched in July. The Aveo 1.4 L is priced at Rs. 5.74 lakh and the Aveo 1.4 LS carries a price tag of Rs 6.14 lakh. GMI has unveiled just one variant of the 1.6-litre engine, the Aveo LT, priced at Rs 6.85 lakh.
Mr Arora said these prices are well below those of competing models in the D segment, primarily the Ford Fiesta and the Honda City variants. GMI has also reduced its parts pricing, being able to source from its global vendors.
Apart from the Aveo E model, hitting the road later this year are the Aveo UV premium and the Optra sports hatchback. The Spark, GM's small car, is slated for launch next year though officials talk of an earlier debut.