The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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GM hopes hatchback Corsa will ignite sales

New delhi, Jan 28: General Motors India plans to launch an international hatchback model of the Corsa in the compact segment in a bid to ignite sluggish sales.

“In all probability, it will be a Nova Corsa,” sources said. The Corsa, a three-box version was designed by General Motors’ Brazilian subsidiary and is currently available in four variants with the base model priced at around Rs 5.6 lakh.

“The Corsa hatchback is available as Nova Corsa 1.0 and Nova Corsa Hatch 1.8 in Brazil and the firm will introduce the same model but in the 1200-1600 cc range,” sources said. It will also have a multi-point fuel injection system.

The hatchback model will be pitted against Fiat’s Palio, a segment that GM feels will grow in the years ahead. The company reckons that it will be able to ensure greater brand acceptance by introducing more models of the successful Corsa.

However, GM India’s official spokesman said the firm had yet to decide on the introduction of any new models.

“We are considering many options, including the introduction of the hatchback model of Corsa but nothing has been finalised as of now,” P Balendran, director and vice-president of corporate affairs told The Telegraph.

Last month during the launch of the Opel Vectra, managing director Aditya Vij said the company would “enhance the product portfolio in the coming months”. He had indicated that there would be a product launch in January-February.

The company, which has already invested Rs 762 crore in the car venture, is considering a fresh capital infusion.

“We are working towards a fresh capital investment,” a senior GM official said. Under FIPB guidelines, GM can make a maximum investment of Rs 1360 crore. General Motors bought the entire stake of its Indian partner, the C.K. Birla group, in 1999. Birla and GM were equal partners in GMIL which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors Corporation.

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