General Motors to stop selling cars in India, to continue export operations

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General Motors intends to cease local manufacturing and selling Chevrolet vehicles in the domestic market by the end of 2017.

In the past few years, GM has opted to pull its Chevrolet brand largely from Europe; opted to leave Russian Federation; cease manufacturing in Indonesia and Australia; restructure in Thailand; and just last month announced it would cease operations in Venezuela after government authorities seized its lone factory there.

In April, GM stopped production at its first Indian plant at Halol, Gujarat, as part of the consolidation of manufacturing operations in the country. Its market share was a meagre 0.85 percent.

GM now sells seven models in India, including Spark, Beat, Sail (sedan and hatchback), Cruze, Enjoy, Tavera and Trailblazer. The company also announced a scaling back of its Indian operation, which will now only be used for exports. 'We have compelling plans for growth in both the top line and the bottom line as we invest for the future.' GM Executive Vice President and President, GM International, Stefan Jacoby said the company is running its GM International markets with an enterprise approach and making decisions that are best for the global business.

Just two years ago, GM (GM) said it would pour $1 billion into its India operations. "Hard as it has been to reach this decision, it is the right outcome to support our global strategy and deliver appropriate returns for our shareholders".

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In a separate move, GM plans to stop building Chevrolet vehicles in South Africa and sell its South African factory to Japan's Isuzu Motors Ltd, along with the 30 percent stake the U.S. automaker owns in a truck venture with Isuzu Motors.

Isuzu will take over GM's commercial-vehicle factory in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth and will also buy the US automaker's 30 percent share of a truck manufacturing joint venture, GM said in a statement on Thursday. GM's volume in India fell by a fifth to 25,823 vehicles in the year ended March 31. 'In India, our exports have tripled over the past year, and this will remain our focus going forward, ' he said. India will export vehicles mostly to Mexico and South America, among other destinations, while GM Korea will ship Korean-made cars to North America, Southeast Asia, Australia and Pakistan.

As regards support to existing GM India and Chevrolet auto owners in India, Kazem said: "We will support our affected customers, employees, dealers and suppliers". Rumours suggest that Chevrolet might continue to employ the service staff for the next 2 years in order to cater to all after sales needs of its existing customers.

"GM South Africa will also work closely with affected dealers on a robust transition plan". The company said it would no longer market its Chevrolet brand in India, but would continue to honour its after-sales commitments regarding services, spares and warranties.

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