GM has set aside at least $400 million to pay victims of the 2.59 million compact cars with a potentially faulty ignition switch linked to at least 13 deaths, the company said in July. The one-time charge, which it said may rise to $600 million, recall costs and other charges led to the auto maker posting a second-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates.
Lawyers for GM's customers are jostling to lead lawsuits over the faulty ignition switches. Car owners suing over the lost value of recalled vehicles have yet to learn whether they can claim $10 billion, a few hundred thousand dollars, or nothing. That number will be decided later by the bankruptcy judge who presided over GM's bailout in 2009.
GM plans to launch 40 new cars in India and in other international markets excluding China, North America and Europe, Ms. Barra said.
The U.S. car maker “sees a lot of opportunities in India from a market perspective,” Ms. Barra told reporters. The company has started exporting cars from India to Chile, she added.
GM, which entered India in 1994, has failed to challenge market leaders Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. and Hyundai Motor Co. and consistently lost market share in recent years. Cars often priced above rivals' competing offerings and inadequate service networks are among reasons analysts cite for GM's and U.S. peer Ford Motor Co.'s lack of progress in Asia's third-biggest auto market.
GM's share of passenger vehicles sold in India slid to 3.2 percent in the 12 months ended March, from 3.3 percent a year earlier, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers' data. That was a fourth straight annual drop.
The auto maker is engaged in a significant restructuring of its operations in India, GM's International Operations President Stefan Jacoby said today, without elaborating. GM has two factories in India including one in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat.
“The Indian market is very important as many predict it will be the world's third biggest market, after China and the U.S., by the 2020s,” Ms. Barra said. “As we move forward we don't just want to be a competitor in the segment, we want to lead.”
Reuters contributed to this report by Bloomberg News that appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.