Automobile manufacturer General Motors India on Thursday said it will cease domestic sales by the end of 2017 and thereafter only focus on exporting its products from India.
According to the company, it will cease domestic sales on December 31, 2017. It will, however, continue to manufacture vehicles at its Talegaon plant, in Maharashtra, which will be exported.
The automobile manufacturer said the decision to cease domestic sales follows a comprehensive review of future product plans for GM India, and is part of a series of actions taken by the company to address the performance of its worldwide operations.
"We explored many options, but determined the increased investment originally planned for India would not deliver the returns of other significant global opportunities," said Stefan Jacoby, GM's Executive Vice President and President of GM International.
"It would also not help us achieve a leadership position or compelling, long-term profitability in the domestic market. 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."
Kaher Kazem, GM India President and Managing Director said the focus for the GM India manufacturing base at Talegaon will be export markets.
â€œGM India's export business has tripled over the past year," Kazem said.
"Exports will remain our focus going forward as we continue 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."
Last year, the automobile manufacturer had said that it will increase exports to 50,000 units in 2016 from 21,000 Chevrolet vehicles which were shipped out during the previous year to 40 countries.
GM India exports the left-hand drive Beat to countries including Mexico, Chile, Peru, Central American and Caribbean Countries (CAC), Uruguay and Argentina.
The company said its customer support centre 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.
"We will support our affected customers, employees, dealers and suppliers. Chevrolet owners can be assured that we will continue to honour all warranties and provide comprehensive aftersales support," Kazem said.
The company added that GM Technical Centre-India (GMTC-I) in Bengaluru will not be impacted by this announcement. It houses the design studio and the engineering centre.
GM India started its Indian journey in 1996 and currently offers products under the Chevrolet brand in the country. Its flagship brand, Chevrolet, was introduced in India in 2003. Chevrolet portfolio in India includes Beat and Cruze.
The following is the time line of the company's activities in India
- Founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Gurgaon
- Began production at its Halol, Gujarat, facility in 1996
- Introduced the Chevrolet brand in 2003
- Opened the GMTC-I in 2003
- Began production at its Talegaon facility, in Maharashtra, in 2008
- Began exports of the Chevrolet Beat to Chile in 2014