|The Chevy Optra|
Rediff. General Motors India (GMI) is planning to make 30% of its Optra sedans diesel-based by 2007. Currently, the only engine option is gasoline.
GMI will source the diesel engines from GM Daewoo. Subsequent to their application in the Optra, GMI will adapt the diesels for other models.
Currently, all GMI-built cars, with the exception of Chevrolet Tavera multi-utility vehicle (MUV), run only on gasoline. The Tavera gets its conventional 2.5-liter diesel engine from Hindustan Motors.
General Motors India has sold 6,820 Chevrolet Optras from January to November 2005, marking better than the 10% growth clocked in the previous year.
Diesel adoption is growing rapidly in India, with diesel-powered cars currently constituting 15% of the fleet.
Tata Motors is the diesel leader in the country, with more than 90% of its cars sold being diesel-powered. Hyundai and Maruti are now increasing their focus on diesels.
Hyundai, which has been importing diesels for its Accent, will begin building the CRDi engines in India. Maruti is setting up a dedicated diesel engine plant in Haryana.
GM India was incorporated in 1994 as a 50-50 joint venture company with the C.K. Birla Group of Companies, and became a fully-owned subsidiary of GM in 1999. Its market share in India is around 2%.