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GM Exploring Low-Cost Vehicle

Mon, 08/17/2009 - 12:21pm

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. said Monday it would explore developing an inexpensive small vehicle for emerging markets to compete with Tata Motors' Nano compact car.

The Nano, which went on sale in India last month for about $2,000, is forcing automakers such as GM to consider a way to bring automobiles to consumers in developing countries at an affordable price point.

GM said there is "a play" in emerging markets for a line of vehicles below $5,000, but a company official did not confirm any specific internal plans to develop such a car.

"We're not really interested in going for that specific segment. We're interested in going with something that's broader," said Johan Willems, spokesman for GM's international division. "I think a low-cost entry is relevant for every emerging market."

GM in the U.S. is planning to deepen its lineup of small, fuel efficient vehicles over the next several years, but not at prices that compete with the Nano in India. GM's smallest car in the U.S. to date is the Chevrolet Aveo which has a starting price of $11,965.

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