Chevrolet is working on a new range of models aimed at emerging markets.

General Motors is investing in a new family of compact Chevrolets that will be co-developed with Chinese partner SAIC and aimed at emerging markets.

These new cars will be built in China, Brazil, India and Mexico and exported to other emerging countries, but not to mature markets such as the United States.

The first all-new Chevrolet in the project is due to surface around 2019 and the new line-up is expected to eventually replace several existing vehicles in emerging markets. The project will benefit from global economies of scale, as well as the purchase of parts on a local level.

The cars are being developed by a multinational team of engineers who will tailor them to local preferences, while the core architecture and engines are being jointly developed with state-owned SAIC.

The new Chevrolet line-up will employ a full range of body styles and feature “advanced customer-facing technologies focused on connectivity, safety and fuel efficiency,” the carmaker promises.

FROM INDIA TO SA?

GM will also be investing a further $1 billion (R12.5bn) to turn its operation in India into a new global export hub to help boost sales in emerging markets.

“With this investment we plan to tap India's potential as a market and as a low-cost manufacturing base for the future,” said GM's chief of international operations Stefan Jacoby said interview.

GM's decision to make India an export base mirrors similar moves by Ford and VW, which are ramping up exports from the country to take advantage of low labour costs and profit from economies of scale.

The fact that these emerging market cars will be built in India also opens the door to them being imported to South Africa, given that right hand drive production is thus guaranteed, although we unlikely to get any confirmation soon as GMSA tends to hold its cards close to its chest when it comes to future product plans.

IOL, AFP & Reuters