GM TO HALT INDIA CAR SALES
Carmaker will not leave country entirely but plans to turn plant into export-only factory
GENERAL Motors Co will stop selling cars in India from the end of this year, drawing a line under two decades of battling in one of the world’s most competitive markets where it has less than a one per cent share of passenger car sales.
The decision was announced as part of a series of restructuring actions from the Detroit carmaker yesterday and marks a blow to India’s strategy of encouraging domestic manufacturing.
GM said it would no longer mar- ket its Chevrolet brand — its only brand of cars marketed in India — despite India’s promise as a market set to overtake Japan as the world’s third largest.
But it doesn’t plan to leave India entirely. It plans to keep operating its tech centre in Bangalore and refocus its manufacturing operations by making one of its two assembly plants in India, the Talegaon plant, into an exportonly factory. It plans to sell its Halol plant to Chinese joint venture partner SAIC Motor Corp.
“We are not giving up the benefits India offers as a local cost manufacturing hub with an excellent supplier base which is extremely competitive,” said Stefan Jacoby, GM’s chief of international operations.
GM’s exports from India, mainly to Mexico and Latin America, doubled to 70,969 vehicles in the fiscal year that ended on March 31.
Jacoby said the move to turn Talegaon assembly into an export-only plant would not impact GM Korea and its position as an export hub.
India will export vehicles mostly to Mexico and South America, among other destinations, while GM Korea will ship cars to North America, Southeast Asia, Australia and Pakistan.
GM global president Dan Ammann said the restructuring actions for India cancelled “most” of the plan GM unveiled in 2015 to invest US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) in India to deploy newly-designed vehicles as part of a Global Emerging Market vehicle programme and build a line of lowcost vehicles in India.
The decisions to scale down GM’s operations in India were results of months of analysis over “where we are going to place our bets (globally) as a company”, Ammann said in an interview.
Singapore Airlines says it is embarking on a wide-ranging review of its network, fleet services, organisational structure and processes.