GM's 3rd engine plant in India to cost $200m

THEworld's largest car maker General Motors (GM) is set to shift gears in India. The company is now looking at investing over $200 million to set up a powertrain plant in India to manufacture engines and components which will reduce the vehicle costs. The powertrain facility is aimed at a lot more than just meeting the domestic demand as engines made at the proposed unit are expected to be used in GM's global brands. Powertrain facility will manufacture engine, transmission and drivetrain that power vehicles. "We have not decided on where to locate the plant or by when it would be operational. But we do know that investment would be in excess of $200 million,' said GM India president and MD Karl Slym. An announcement in this regard is expected soon. Mr Slym, however, did not divulge details on the type of engines or specifications of the engines that would be made in India. This could be GM's third plant in India after Halol (Gujarat) and the under-construction unit at Talegaon (near Pune). The move is aimed at gaining a competitive edge in the domestic market as the company aims to capture a 10% share of the passenger car market here. GM India registered a 68% growth in sales in 2007, selling 60,032 units as against 35,823 units during 2006. GM is also drawing up expansion plans at the Talegaon plant which is to start production by the year-end. It will have an initial production capacity of 1,40,000 units. According to Mr Slym, the second-phase of expansion at Talegaon will see the production capacity being raised to 3,00,000 units. "Expansion at Talegaon is a long-term plan. We don't have a timeframe for this. But once phase-II is over, our production capacity will be in excess of 3,50,000 units