With sales slowing back home, General Motors is looking at booming markets to increase market share. One market which is expected to rival the west in the next few decades is India.
GM currently holds a minority share in Chinese owned SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co. which may increase as the old General looks to compete with the Tata Nano from India.
According to Bob Lutz, GM’s vice chairman of global product development, GM is working on a “parallel” products program which will run independent of GM’s current global vehicle lineup. This will allow the company to better compete in the Indian super low-cost segment as well as other developing countries.
With the Nano set to retail for around $2,500 USD (~$2,900), GM’s potential ultra-budget car will need to be priced very competitively to survive. The company currently co-builds the Wuling vans and pickups in China which retail for roughly $3,000 USD (~$3,400), so a passenger car for $2,500 is not out of the question.
Lutz said the Nano could potentially overshoot its $2,500 starting price once amenities are added. “You add an extra passenger seat, that’ll be slightly extra and so forth,” he says. “The average retail is probably going to be more.”
Discussing plans to bring the ultra low budget to the States and other developed countries, Lutz said “it could not be sold in the developed world because it wouldn’t meet regulations.”
He also added that American buyers looking for cars starting at $2,500 will be more likely to purchase a used car than a new ultra-budget micro car.