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GM introduces Spark to India

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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: GM Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner is in New Delhi. The company wants to increase its investment in the fast-growing Indian market. Miranda Kennedy is our correspondent in New Delhi. I asked her specifically why Wagoner is in India today.

MIRANDA KENNEDY: Well Wagoner's in India because GM has traditionally not done well here. In fact most U.S. carmakers haven't made a dent in the Indian market because they sort of haven't understood the market, which basically Indians want small, cheap, fuel-efficient vehicles and that's the only thing that they'll buy. And when GM first came here they started selling luxury cars and that didn't work at all. So what he did today is he launched a small vehicle. It's the first small vehicle that GM has sold in India. It's called the Chevrolet Spark and they're hoping that that's gonna bring them up to 10 percent of the market.

THOMAS: What kind of competition is GM facing in India?

KENNEDY: Well the Japanese companies have done really well. There's also serious competition from the domestic companies like Maruti and Tata. You know, they keep on growing. The thing is that India is a massive market right now. I mean, that's why GM feels that they have to make a big push in here.

THOMAS: Why is he targeting India as a source for more auto parts?

KENNEDY: The problem with exporting cars and auto parts from India had always been the infrastructure. Unlike China, India hasn't been able to create the efficient systems of ports and roads that are necessary to send parts out. But India promises it's gonna change that. India has billed itself as the new China in terms of auto part sales and hopes to eventually become another hub in Asia for selling auto parts. And of course it is a low-cost place to do so.

THOMAS: Thanks so much Miranda.

KENNEDY: No worries.

THOMAS: Marketplace's Miranda Kennedy.

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