Driverless car ambitions come into focus as GM decides to stop selling cars in India and South Africa
Herald Globe - Friday 19th May, 2017
The company has decided to cut operations to focus on exporting and driverless cars
The move will be implemented from the end of the year
The company will instead channel its investment on future technology
MICHIGAN, U.S. - In a bid to focus on future technology, including its driverless car ambitions - U.S. car giant General Motors has decided to stop selling cars in one of the world’s most competitive markets - India.
The auto giant announced its decision and said that sales of its Chevrolet vehicles, its only brand of cars marketed in India, will stop in India from the end of the year as it shifts its focus and investment on future technology and exporting.
General Motors has been present in India for two decades now, however it has not managed to gain one percent of passenger car sales in the country.
The company has said that its exports in India have tripled over the past year so that will remain its focus.
It further explained that it will turn one of its two factories in India into an export-only plant and will sell the other to Chinese joint venture partner SAIC.
The company confirmed that it is pouring in around $600 million a year in investment to ramp up efforts to develop driverless vehicles.
Apart from the decision on India, GM announced a series of other restructuring moves on Thursday, which it said have emerged from its review of operations in its international markets.
GM said that the restructuring will help the firm focus its capital and resources on "business opportunities expected to deliver higher returns.”
The company is also selling its commercial vehicle manufacturing business in South Africa to Isuzu Motor.
It will end sales of Chevrolet cars in South Africa too by the end of 2017.
In a statement announcing the company’s decision, GM chairman and chief executive Mary Barra said, “As the industry continues to change, we are transforming our business, establishing GM as a more focused and disciplined company. We are committed to deploying capital to higher return initiatives that will enable us to lead in our core business and in the future of personal mobility."
Barra added, “Globally, we are now in the right markets to drive profitability, strengthen our business performance and capitalise on growth opportunities for the long term.
The company added that the new changes would help the company save around $100 million annually.
It said it plans to take a charge of around $500 million in the second quarter of this year to rejig operations across India, Africa and Singapore.
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