BOMBAY, India -- General Motors said on Friday it had more than doubled annual production capacity in India to 60,000 units to meet growing demand for its Chevrolet and Opel brands.
GM is expanding its facility in the western state of Gujarat, which currently makes 25,000 units a year, it said in a statement. Production at the plant can be stepped up further if required.
"Our Halol plant is fully geared to produce up to 80,000 units or more, in three shifts, if need be," said Aditya Vij, president and managing director of General Motors India.
GM had said in January it would invest $69 million to double its capacity in India but gave no details.
General Motors India, a subsidiary of GM, produces several variants of the German-engineered Opel Corsa and Chevrolet Optra sedans as well as the Tavera SUV. It also imports the Opel Vectra and Chevrolet Forester.
GM, in India since the mid-1990s, sold 26,000 units in 2004, up 73 percent from a year earlier but short of its 30,000 target.
Several foreign automakers have announced plans to step up production in India to meet growing demand in Asia's fourth-largest economy and use it as a regional export hub.
Hyundai Motor Co. said last month it would build a second plant in India with a capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year, taking its capacity in India to 400,000 units by 2007.
Renault, which last month formed a joint venture with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. to make the French firm's Logan sedan, said it may export cars and car parts from India.
Czech carmaker Skoda Auto said this week it would nearly double capacity in India and begin exporting to other south Asian countries, while German carmakers BMW and Volkswagen are considering setting up plants in India.