He added that Isuzu Motors would, once fully entrenched in South Africa, explore the introduction of new products to the country, while also investigating further export opportunities for the plant. GM Executive Vice President and President of GM International Stefan Jacoby said that after exploring many options the company determined that the increased investment originally planned for India would "not deliver the returns of other significant global opportunities". GM India exports to Mexico, Central and South America.
While GM will continue building products in India to sell in other countries, its decision to pull out of the market in the world's second-most populous country reflects a wider recalculation of where it should be laying bets.
According to Kaher Kazem, president and MD, GM India, "GM India's export business has tripled over the past year". GM is making a number of other changes to its worldwide business as well.
GM sells Chevrolet brand of vehicles in India. Around the same time, new of a pollution scandal emerged from earlier as GM was found to have broken pollution norms by swindling inspectors, although, possibly thanks to GM's poor sales position in India, this did not make the headlines as it should have. The plant has a capacity of 170,000 units per year and employs more than 2,500 workers.
The GM Technical Centre-India (GMTC-I) in Bengaluru will continue to perform global work for GM. Of these, the Tavera and Enjoy are brought primarily by fleet operators while the Cruze and the Beat are the mainstay of the company's private sales.
"We will support our affected customers, employees, dealers and suppliers", Kazem said.
"General Motors recently announced the decision to withdraw Chevrolet from the domestic auto market in India at the end of this calendar year".
The company says it aims to be out of the country by the end of this year.
Last month, GM shut down its manufacturing plant in western India after failing to find a buyer for the Halol-based 20-year-old plant.
GM said in its statement that Isuzu would purchase GM's Struandale plant and its remaining 30% in Isuzu Truck SA‚ with sales through a national dealer network. The company is already in negotiations with its Chinese partner SAIC for sale of Halol facility, though a deal is not reached due to nagging labour issues and pending clearances from the Gujarat government.
Motoring scenario has come a long way in India. It was discontinued in 1954. Just for the sake of comparison, Maruti alone sold close to 28,000 units of its basic Alto 800 in September 2016 alone. It is also the sixth largest passenger vehicle exporter from India.
GM also will cut an undisclosed number of staff at its GM International Operations headquarters in Singapore.
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