GM accelerates transformation of international markets

GM to cease Holden sales, design and engineering operations by 2021, plans to focus on growth opportunities in specialty vehicle business

General Motors (NYSE: GM) is taking decisive action to transform its international operations, building on the comprehensive strategy it laid out in 2015 to strengthen its core business, drive significant cost efficiencies and take action in markets that cannot earn an adequate return for its shareholders.

GM announced today that it would wind down sales, design and engineering operations in Australia and New Zealand and retire the Holden brand by 2021. The company will focus its strategies for the market on the GM specialty vehicle business. The company also announced that it had signed a binding term sheet with Great Wall Motors to purchase GM’s Rayong vehicle manufacturing facility in Thailand; and would withdraw Chevrolet from the domestic market in Thailand by the end of 2020.

“I’ve often said that we will do the right thing, even when it’s hard, and this is one of those times,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.  “We are restructuring our international operations, focusing on markets where we have the right strategies to drive robust returns, and prioritizing global investments that will drive growth in the future of mobility, especially in the areas of EVs and AVs.

“While these actions support our global strategy, we understand that they impact people who have contributed so much to our company. We will support our people, our customers and our partners, to ensure an orderly and respectful transition in the impacted markets.”

GM President Mark Reuss said the company explored a range of options to continue Holden operations, but none could overcome the challenges of the investments needed for the highly fragmented right-hand-drive market, the economics to support growing the brand, and delivering an appropriate return on investment.

“At the highest levels of our company we have the deepest respect for Holden’s heritage and contribution to our company and to the countries of Australia and New Zealand,” said Reuss.

“After considering many possible options – and putting aside our personal desires to accommodate the people and the market – we came to the conclusion that we could not prioritize further investment over all other considerations we have in a rapidly changing global industry.

“We do believe we have an opportunity to profitably grow the specialty vehicle business and plan to work with our partner to do that,” he concluded.

Please click here to view the full press release.

SOURCE: General Motors

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