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General Motors bails out of India and South Africa


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General Motors bails out of India and South Africa

General Motors has announced further retrenchment.

The carmaker said it will stop selling vehicles in India by the end of this year and cancel most of a planned $1 billion (900 million euro) investment to build a new line of low-cost cars there, though it will continue some manufacturing there for export.

It is also planning to sell its operations in South Africa. Japan’s Isuzu Motors will purchase those, along with the 30 percent stake the US company owns in a truck joint venture with Isuzu Motors.

India and South Africa accounted for fewer that 50,000 vehicles sold by GM last year.

In addition there will be staff cuts at GM International Operations headquarters in Singapore.

It will take a $500 million (450 million euro) charge in the second quarter for the restructuring in India, Africa and Singapore.

Focus on profit

This follows the withdrawal from Europe with the proposed sale of loss-making Opel-Vauxhall to French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen.

GM’s strategy is to focus its cash and engineering efforts on fewer, more profitable areas. That is China, the highly-profitable North American light truck and sport utility market, Latin America, vehicle financing and transportation services that ultimately could use autonomous vehicles.

GM President Dan Ammann told the Reuters news agency: “What are we spending our time doing? Are we spending time pursuing opportunities … or all of our time fixing problems?”

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