TALEGAON- General Motors has inaugurated its new flexible-engine facility at Talegaon near Pune in Mahrashtra. This is GM’s first powertrain plant in the world that enables both petrol and diesel engines to be manufactured simultaneously. The plant is being built with an investment of US$ 230 million. All the engines produced here will be under 1.5 litres. In the first phase it will make 1.6 lakh engines a year and later an additional 1.4 lakh units. It would be the first flexi-engine plant for GM globally wherein both petrol and diesel engines are going to be manufactured together. Among those present at the ceremony included Union Minister for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Secretary of the State, J.P. Dange, Principal Secretary (Industries), A.M. Khan, President & Managing Director of GM India Karl Slym and a host of other dignitaries.Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, GM India President and Managing Director Karl Slym said: “This marks the beginning of GM's next chapter in India. The opening of our new facility will enable our company to become more competitive and keep up with the growing demand for our vehicles. GM India’s sales have grown significantly since we began rolling out our mini-cars, the Chevrolet Spark and Beat, at our Talegaon plant about two years back.” Slym added, “We appreciate the support of the Maharashtra government and our employees across the country. Their backing has enabled us to build a world-class engine facility in record time of less than two years.” On August 28, 2008, GM signed an agreement with the Government of Maharashtra for the construction of a new engine plant adjacent to its vehicle manufacturing facility. Construction started in December 2008, with pilot production commencing in March 2010. The engine plant complements GM's modern vehicle manufacturing facilities in Talegaon and Halol, Gujarat, and the GM Technical Centre in Bangalore, which is carrying out a range of engineering, design and R&D activities. General Motors India has completed 14 years of operation. It offers a growing range of products under the Chevrolet brand, which was introduced in India in 2003 and has become one of the fastest-growing automotive nameplates in the country. In addition to the Chevrolet Spark and Chevrolet Beat, GM India also currently produces the Chevrolet Captiva, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Aveo, Chevrolet Aveo U-VA, and Chevrolet Tavera for sale nationwide. GM is now the fifth-largest automobile manufacturer in India. In the first 10 months of 2010, GM India sold a record 93,960 vehicles, which represents growth of 73 percent from the same period last year. It has 211 sales points and 205 service outlets in 178 cities across India, and has embarked upon an ambitious rural marketing initiative to further boost sales. In February 2010, GM and its Chinese partner SAIC opened a joint venture in India for cooperation in vehicle manufacturing and sales.
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