General Motors has announced that it is withdrawing from the South African market, ceasing production and sales of Chevrolet models in the country, according to a report by Cars.co.za
This announcement was made to the press early on 18 May 2017 in Port Elizabeth, after GM’s top management had informed its workforce and dealers of the decision.
When the process is concluded by year-end (as planned), it will mark the end of the US multinational’s 13-year tenure in South Africa, which saw the introduction of the Chevrolet, Hummer and Cadillac brands as well as the production of Isuzu and a number of Opel and Chevrolet products.
Speaking to Cars.co.za prior to the announcement, Ian Nicholls, President and MD of General Motors South Africa, said: “General Motors is today announcing restructuring actions in a number of different markets to drive stronger global financial performance.”
“From a global point of view, the firm is adopting a more efficient structure to allow it to focus on its core business of building and selling vehicles and also investing heavily in defining the future of personal mobility.”
While local production of the Chevrolet Spark and Utility will stop, Isuzu will be buying out the GM operations in South Africa, where current Chevrolet owners will be able to fulfil their service plans, the report said.
According to a report by Reuters , this marks a continued restructuring move by GM, and a series of earlier decisions to quit unprofitable market.
This would allow GM to focus more money, engineering effort and senior management time on expanding where the company is strong, including China and the North American pickup and SUV business, where GM has a “product onslaught coming.”