Ford and GM Race to Win This Emerging Market

General Motors (NYSE:GM) has substantially increased its influence in the Indian car market. The company has increased its stake in its previously 50-50 joint venture with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation to 93 percent. Financial details were not disclosed.

“Looking to the future, we will continue to actively collaborate with SAIC on product opportunities that support our aggressive growth plans in India,” said GM spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin in an emailed statement to Reuters. GM sales in India have dropped 21 percent in the six months beginning April. The company is planning to release a new Chevy utility vehicle into the market called Enjoy.

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Not to be left out, Ford’s (NYSE:F) India unit announced a face lift for its Figo model, which has been in the market for a few years.

“The Ford Figo is a big game-changer for us and has won the trust of customers as a reliable, substantial vehicle with outstanding value. With the addition of all new exciting features in the New Figo, we believe our customers will truly find that change is a wonderful thing,” said Ford India president and managing director Michael Boneham, according to The Wall Street Journal

The two companies are stepping up their bids to gain market share in India as sales in Europe continue to suffer and growth at home remains slow. China will also increasingly become a battleground as Japanese automakers continue to lose sales due to a territory dispute.

Toyota (NYSE:TM) reportedly plans to halt production at two out of three lines at its largest facility in the country. Both Toyota and Honda (NYSE:HMC) saw over 40 percent sales decreases in China in September. Both companies are reevaluating their production strategies in the country.

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