Chevrolet Sail UVA : First Drive
General Motors' tryst with India goes back quite a while however it's only now that that India's 5th largest car maker is beginning to fire on all cylinders. A spate of recent launches was just the precursor to one of the most awaited cars from the GM stables, the Sail UVA. ZigWheels brings you an exclusive first drive!
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How important is the Indian car market to international car manufacturers? Well, that answer can be taken out of a page from GM India’s book. Let’s go back a few years, actually more than a few years when the GM saga began in India. It was 1994 when General Motors India Private Limited was established as a joint venture with Hindustan Motors to produce and sell Opels. While the cars were good, sales were pretty ordinary thanks to the high maintenance and very average fuel consumption. While the Opel brand finally disappeared into the sunset in 2006, GM’s other subsidiary; Chevrolet which was established in 2003 was pretty much the shining star at GMIPL.
The move to Chevrolet as GM’s marquee of choice globally was also coming into effect and given its earlier presence in India the move to replace Opel with Chevrolet was a logical one. With successful launches like the Optra sedan and the Tavera MUV, Chevrolet was GM’s knight in a bowtie. After years of struggling, GM had finally found its calling in India thanks to Chevrolet. Which brings us to the answer of how important the Indian market really is? Even after all the years of struggling, GM decided to stick on rather than just pack its bags. Their patience was finally paying dividends.
When it came to a hatch, Chevrolet came out with the Aveo U-VA. While it made for quite a sensible car, it didn’t really catch the buyers fancy thanks to a very staid design and an average engine. Space was pretty much the only virtue, but with cars like the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai Getz, the U-VA could not really make a strong case for itself. But the 2012 Auto Expo showed us an all new U-VA which looked all set to change this brand’s history. Out went the Aveo and in came the Sail U-VA model name.
Now the Sail isn’t an all-new car made for India like the Ford Figo or the Toyota Etios Liva, in fact it sells in huge numbers elsewhere in an international market. This is where the GM-SAIC joint venture comes into the picture
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