Cadillac, Hummer to hit Indian roads later this year

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New Delhi, Jan 10 (UNI) General Motors today said it will launch its Cadillac and Hummer models in the country in the later part of the year.

''There exists a niche market for these cars. We want to see the response to these cars at the Expo before launching them in the country,'' said General Motors India (GMI) President and MD Karl Slym on the sidelines of a press conference at the Auto Expo 2008.

The Hummer H3 is expected to be launched in the later half of the year, while the Cadillac will hit the Indian roads during the same period or next year, Mr Slym added.

The company expects to sell about 300-400 units annually when the cars are brought in. ''The pricing would depend on the duty aspect,'' said GMI director and Vice President (Corporate Affairs) P Balendran.

When asked if Tata's Rs one-lakh car would pose as a threat to the company's sales, Mr Slym said, ''whenever a new car in the market, it affects the sales. But we are not threatened as we have a car for everyone.'' The car would be those upgrading from scooters and bikes or second hand cars, Mr Balendran added.

GM is eyeing a market share of 10 per cent by 2010. ''We have grown by 60 per cent in 2006-07, whbile the industry grew at 14 per cent. To have a 10 per cent share would mean two million units by 2010 and a 50 per cent growth rate this year with at least 90,000 vehicles,'' Mr Slym said.

The company had launched its FResearch and Development centre in Bangalore in December 2007, taking the global number of such centres to 11.

GM is also looking at strengthening its dealer network and service centres to consolidate its market share.

The company will also expand its lineup of products and bring in new products, he added.

GM also displayed three concept vehicles--Chevrolet T2X, Chevrolet Sequel and WTCC Ultra--at the Expo, apart from the Hummer H3 and Cadillac CTS.

''We brought these outstanding models to India to solicit local feedback on products, brands and technologies that we believe have long-term potential in the domestic market,'' Mr Slym said.

The Cadillac CTS measures 4,860 mm in length and has a wheelbase of 2,880 mm, with a front/rear track of 1,569/1,575 mm. Sculpted fenders emphasize the car's enhanced chassis dynamics.

Incorporated with GM's new 3.6-litre direct-injection V-6 VVT engine, the car delivers an estimated 311 bhp and 374 Nm of torque.

This complements an optional 2.8-litre V-6 engine that has a preliminary rating of 211 bhp.

The Hummer H3 has been was designed to offer unparalleled off-road performance in a smaller package. ''Developed for markets around the world and built in South Africa, the H3 adds its own unique styling features to the iconic Hummer brand. It follows in the tracks of the Hummer H1, and the H2 and H2 SUT,'' Mr Slym said. The car has a 244 bhp 3.7-litre Vortec inline five-cylinder engine.

The Chevrolet T2X concept car has served as the basis for the Chevrolet Captiva, which was launched yesterday at the Expo.

The Chevrolet Sequel concept car was introduced in 2005 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which was followed by a on-road version a year later.

''It is the first vehicle in the world to successfully integrate a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system with a broad menu of advanced technologies such as steer and brake-by-wire controls, wheel hub motors, lithium-ion batteries and a lightweight aluminium structure.

It uses clean, renewable hydrogen as a fuel and emits only water vapour,'' Mr Slym said.

The WTCC Ultra is a fully-functioning touring concept vehicle.

It is equipped with a 1,991 cc diesel engine that generates 190 bhp.

UNI SR MP AS2121

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