Why Chevrolet India Failed?

What did GM expect ?

Chevrolet beat
Chevrolet India was GMs lonest existence in India. The Indian auto market is one of the biggest in the world. The native brand Maruti Suzuki was doing great numbers in their sales and GM expected the same with their brand. The brand did well initially with 5% market share and that reduced drastically over time.

The entry

Chevrolet Aveo
GM entered India with its Opel brand and sold cars like the Astra and Corsa. These cars were selling well until customers started facing maintenance issues and new cars from competitors came out. The sales fell and GM had to withdraw the Opel brand from India.


GM introduced the Chevrolet brand in India and offered cars in all the segments. It had the Captiva, Brat, Cruze, Aveo and the Enjoy. Even with all these it did fail due to several reasons. Here are some reasons why GM failed in India

General Motors Managements

Chevrolet Captive
Any company’s success depends on the people running it at the back end. The fact that the company changed 9 different CEOs in their 21 year of tenure. Due to which there used to be a lot of changes to the corporate structure which is why people failed to follow a long term strategy.

Dealership Network

It is very important to have a good and trusted dealership network. GM initially had 400+ dealerships in India but then the sales fell down drastically, the dealers lost confidence in GM’s products. Apparently, GM did not inform them about any strategy changes or upcoming updates on their vehicles.

Customer service

Chevrolet Cruze
The brand offers cars from Rs 3 Lakh to Rs 30 Lakh but the reliability was very poor and Indian customers needed reliable, comfortable and cost effective cars that GM that failed to offer or deliver in India.

Not up to date

GM cars used to have old platforms and engines. There were also some cars that barely managed to pass emission tests. The quality of their parts reduced drastically and worsened. The long term reliability of their cars was a big question and maintenance was an issue. When Toyota stopped making the very popular but ugly looking Qualis, Tavera could not replace it despite having no other competition in that segment

Chevrolet sales

Chevrolet sales number 2011 to 2016
GM tried different models of the Chevrolet India brand over the years. The sales reduced drastically from 2011 to 2016 even after introducing several models. Most of these models came from the Daewoo stable from its acquisition.

Sales of each model

Chevrolet sales numbers

General Motors

Chevrolet spark
General Motors always made what seemed right and failed to identify and meet the customer requirement. Fun fact,  during world war 2 they switched their entire production to manufacture goods such as airplanes, tanks and even machine guns. They have a tempting portfolio in the global market yet brought cars that were out dated even for the Indian market. In a country like India with a huge market and customers with high expectations GM failed to offer what other manufacturers started offering.

Image Credits:
Premnath Kudva, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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