For the eight months to the end of August, a total of 274 600 vehicles were exported, 20% more year on year than 2008. The number exceeds that of China for the first time in four years.

The attraction of India as an export base is the nation’s relatively low labour costs, but General Motors is also said to be in talks with its Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive, over the establishment of a joint venture aimed at building cars for the Indian market.