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Car segment to gain momentum from Jan 2011: P Balendran

In conversation with General Motors India Vice President (corporate affairs)

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After a sluggish run in the year, the domestic is likely to gain from January 2012, when market participants see an uptick in sentiment.

“This year, the car segment has been rather sluggish due to high fuel and input costs coupled with high interest rates and negative market sentiments. However, we are confident that the market will pick up soon,” General Motors India vice president (corporate affairs) P Balendran said.

To a Business Standard query, he said interest rates had peaked out and were likely to fall further in January 2013, which would improve market sentiments.

He underlined that, “almost 85% of the automobiles are financed and low interest rates have considerable bearing on the market”.

Balendran was in town to launch the new Chevrolet Sail U-VA in Uttar Pradesh. The Sail U-VA is a premium hatchback from the General Motors stable, launched in both petrol and diesel versions, the base price of the car is about Rs 4.51 lakh, which goes up to Rs 6.70 lakh.

“During 2011 calendar, we had sold 5,700 cars in the state and this year we have already clocked sales of 4,000 units, which has to be seen in the backdrop of the sluggish growth in industry this year,” Balendran added.

Sail U-VA has been categorised in the Mini B2 segment, which clocks nearly 50,000 units per month in India. This segment accounts for 38% of the cumulative car market and has grown by 48% during the last 3 years.

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