General Motors India (GMI) has recently established the diesel version of its most popular hatchback Chevrolet Beat, which has acknowledged rave reviews and gushing response. Chevrolet Beat's petrol model and LPG version have already received warm welcome from Indian customers.
GMI has great hopes from the newly launched Beat Diesel model and anticipates that it will certainly add to its reputation. At the launch of the diesel variant, GMI President and MD, Karl Slym said, “Offering a diesel engine developed for Indian consumers in our most popular model is a momentous achievement for GM India.”
The Beat Diesel was designed with the goal to effectively cope up with the fuel worries as it provides the ARAI certified mileage of 24 kmpl. Beat Diesel accompanies 1.0 XSDE SMARTECH Engine, designed specifically for Indian market by the Bangalore based GM Technical Centre in partnership with GM Power-train Europe. It renders 58.5 PS at the rate of 4000 rpm with 150 Nm torque. Furthermore, Beat Diesel will prove to be economical as the engine oil will need to be changed only once in 1.5 years. The car allows better fuel economy and superior emission performance too.
The model's 65% high-strength steel body cage provides better resident safety. The sleek and stylish interior of the model is complemented by an advance in-dash integrated ice-blue lit music system. Additionally, the new Chevrolet Beat Diesel model costs between Rs. 4.40 lacs and Rs 5.5 lacs and comes with three years or 1 lac kilometre warranty.
GMI has great hopes from Beat Diesel and expects it to touch new borders of success; however, the way is not as smooth as it was speculated. The dynamics of auto business will surely change after the government indicated on Thursday that dual pricing of diesel may be introduced to remove the subsidy enjoyed by car owners.
Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, affirmed in the Lok Sabha that passenger cars were consuming about 15% of the diesel supplied in the country and that "we can try to work out mechanism, so that this section is not subsidised".
Oil Minister, Jaipal Reddy, also supported the Finance Minister's concern about the subsidised diesel. Besides, all these statements are coming at a time when most of the car manufacturers are working hard to maximize their share of the domestic diesel car market. Moreover, the number of sales of diesel cars has risen over the last few years only as diesel is cheaper than petrol.
All the car manufacturers have voiced their bear on as any change in policy or an additional tax on the fuel would harm an already sulky auto market. Besides, domestic car sales has already faced constant decline, which is 10% year-on-year in July. This is the worst statistics since the 7% decline in January 2009.
General Motors India President Karl Slym said "We are for market-driven price of diesel. Already the sales of car and passenger vehicles are sluggish in the domestic market and any change in policy will further impact it". However, GMI is not taking it as a fatal issue, as the Vice President of GM India, P. Balendran, adds, “We have diesel models, but diesel has other advantages than simply being a cheaper fuel. Diesel technology today is cleaner and fuel efficiency of diesel vehicles is higher. We would rather let the consumer choose according to his requirements”.
There are lot of hurdle race in the way, but GMI hopes that all these issues will not hurt Beat Diesel sales that much as it is ready to face all challenges boldly.
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