TRAVERSE CITY, MI – General Motors Corp. is upbeat regarding the earnings potential of its operations in India, a promising market that has been overshadowed in Asia by China’s startling growth the last several years.

General Motors India Ltd. posted a second-quarter profit vs. like-2003’s money-losing performance. “I think there is more to come,” GM Chief Financial Officer John Devine says here at the Management Briefing Seminars. “We’re getting some growth in India.”

GM recently added Chevy Tavera to Indian lineup.

GM recently added the Chevy Tavera SUV, which is known as the Isuzu Panther in Indonesia, to the lineup of vehicles it builds in India. India’s appetite for utility vehicles is feeding the fast-growing segment. (See related story: Chevy Tavera Points to New Direction for India’s Multi-Utility Market)

GM India also builds the Chevy Corsa and Sail small passenger cars. The company says it expects sales of GM vehicles to reach 50,000 annually by 2005.

India is the world’s largest democracy with a population of more than 1 billion. The country has large numbers of well-educated people skilled in the English language. But Devine does not believe India’s profit potential exceeds China’s, where GM recently announced intentions to invest $3 billion.

“It’s a little tougher to make any money in India,” Devine says. “The products are smaller and the price points are lower. But we’re seeing real growth in India, and we’re getting our product lineup done.

“There’s more potential there. I don’t think it’s going to be China in terms of profit impact. But it’s a growing business, and I think we’ll take it.”

bcorbett@primediabusiness.com