General Motors' New Strategy in India

General Motors' New Strategy in India
Case Code: BSTR410
Case Length: 20 Pages
Period: 2000-2012
Pub Date: 2012
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: General Motors India
Industry: Automotive
Countries: India, China
Themes: International Management, Strategic Alliances, Competition
General Motors' New Strategy in India
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


This case is about the strategies followed by General Motors India (GMI) to increase its performance in the highly competitive Indian automobile market. In January 2012, Lowell Paddock (Paddock) took over as President and Managing Director of GMI from Karl Slym (Slym). GMI struggled to establish itself in the Indian market and face up to the heavy competition from the Japanese and Korean automobile companies. The failure to understand the Indian market properly led GMI to neglect the small car segment which was crucial in India. Subsequently, GMI released two small cars, the Chevrolet Spark (Spark) in 2007 and the Chevrolet Beat (Beat) in January 2010.

The Beat proved a success in the market after its diesel version was released in the market in July 2011. During his more than five-year tenure, Slym was responsible for improving the performance of GMI considerably, providing it with a foothold in the Indian market. Paddock had the responsibility of further consolidating GMI's position and taking it through to the next phase of growth. GMI was planning to introduce more small car models as part of its portfolio to consolidate its position in the Indian market. GMI planned to use its partnership with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) to introduce more small car models in the Indian market. The question being asked was whether GM would be able to replicate its China success story in India. This case is meant for MBA/MS students as a part of the International Management/ Business Strategy.


  • Understand the issues and challenges faced by multinational companies when operating in international markets
  • Appreciate the importance of multinational companies understanding the local market conditions when operating in new markets, especially in emerging markets like India
  • Analyze GMI's strategy to gain a foothold in the highly competitive Indian automobile market
  • Examine whether GMI will be able to leverage on its alliance in China to achieve its growth objectives in India
  • Discuss the challenges before Paddock as he takes up the reins of GMI and explore ways in which he could overcome the challenges and achieve GM's ambitious objectives of doubling its market share in India



International Management; Business Strategy; Competition; Emerging markets; BRIC countries; Indian automobile market; Alliance; joint venture; Chevrolet Beat; understand the preferences of Indian customers; brand awareness; Replicate Chinese success story in India

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