General Motors CEO Mary Barra concluded a three-day fact-finding visit to India on Thursday, where she met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and key stakeholders throughout the country.
“India represents a great opportunity for Chevrolet,” Barra said. “With a relatively small vehicle population and rapidly growing, young middle class, India is expected to become one of the world’s three largest markets by 2020.
“GM is working to better understand the Indian market so we can give Indian customers what they deserve – safe, high-quality Chevrolet vehicles with exceptional designs that exceed expectations.”
GM has invested about $1 billion in India to date. Its Talegaon and Halol facilities can produce more than 280,000 vehicles per year. The GM Technical Center-India is carrying out local and global engineering projects, and GM India’s growing lineup of Chevrolet models is sold through the company’s nationwide dealer network.
Barra, accompanied by Tim Solso, non-executive chairman of the GM Board of Directors; Stefan Jacoby, executive vice president and president, GM International; Chuck Stevens, GM executive vice president and chief financial officer; and, Arvind Saxena, GM India president and managing director, visited GM facilities and met with employees, suppliers and government leaders during her three-day visit that concluded Thursday.
During a Wednesday visit to the Talegaon manufacturing facility in Pune, Barra participated in the celebration of the production of the first Chevrolet vehicle for export. Vehicles initially will be exported to Chile starting later this year.
Meeting with several of GM India’s top suppliers in Pune, Barra discussed opportunities for global sourcing and improved partnerships as GM continues to localize its supply base and make greater use of products manufactured in India.
The GM leadership team also visited Chevrolet dealerships to further understand the market momentum, customer preferences and network performance.
On Thursday, Barra met with Prime Minister Modi, congratulating him on his recent victory and thanking Modi for supporting the growth of GM India.
On Friday, Jacoby addresses the annual convention of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in New Delhi, where he will discuss the positive economic impact of the automotive industry and its importance for markets such as India.
“GM remains open to the long-term prospects for India and its automotive industry,” said Jacoby. “However, we are going in with our eyes wide open to ensure that our investment is good for India and good for General Motors.”
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