BOMBAY (Reuters) - General Motors aims to grab 10 percent of India's fast growing car market by 2010 and use India as an export hub, its country head said on Friday.
The Indian unit of the world's biggest car maker recently more than doubled capacity to 60,000 cars a year at a cost of $69 million to meet demand for its Chevrolet and Optra, and will up capacity to 80,000 by the first quarter of 2006.
The company sold more than 26,000 vehicles in India last year, and is looking at selling 40,000 to 50,000 vehicles next year.
"We don't sell as many as some other automakers, but we are taking a step-by-step approach," said Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director of General Motors India.
To hit 10 percent, GM must quintuple estimated 2006 sales and launch a mini car. Mini and compact cars make up more than 75 percent of the almost one million cars sold in India.
"You can't be a major player in this market without a mini car," said the 10-year veteran who took charge of Indian operations in May. GM makes the Opel Corsa and Chevrolet Optra sedans here, as well as the Tavera SUV.
It imports the Opel Vectra and Chevrolet Forester.