Ritch Schaafsma, GM International Vice President would not concede to it being a disinvestment in South Africa, but rather allocating future investments in Port Elizabeth to Isuzu.
"General Motors India's export business has tripled over the past year", Kazem said. Considering the Talegaon plant has a capacity 130,000 vehicles per year, its recasting as an export plant should be feasible for the foreseeable future.
On Thursday morning the company released a statement saying that it made the decison after a thorough assessment of its South African operations.
GM's Indian exports-primarily to Mexico and Latin America-almost doubled to nearly 71,000 cars in the previous fiscal year.
The Detroit automaker had planned to invest heavily in India, but said the change came after an extensive review of GM's International Operations. There simply was no way this poor management by GM India could've gone forever and finally the sales have been called off.
In 2013, GM India recalled 1.14 lakh units of its multi-utility vehicle Tavera in one of the largest vehicles recalls in India to address emissions and specification issues. India and China had been slated to be the main manufacturing hubs for the new range that was set to begin production in 2018. All of the world's major auto companies have a presence in India, which is projected to eventually overtake Western Europe as the No.3 vehicle market in the world.
The company claims that the reasons for this decision was the financial losses due to its India sales and that any plans to increase investment in the country would not give them returns in terms of leadership position or a significant rise in market share.
The move is in line with the company's global restructuring process in order to generate stronger returns and drive shareholder value. CCI has approved SAIC's plan to acquire General Motors' facility in Halol, Gujarat.
As GM moved to consolidate Indian manufacturing at its Talegaon assembly plant, the company ceased manufacturing at its Halol assembly plant on April 28, 2017. By the time GM felt confident enough to sell these cars in India, unfortunately for them the market and the consumer had matured a lot more than they thought they understood. Its market share was a meagre 0.85 percent. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles are sold under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang and Wuling brands.
GM wants to focus more financial resources on regions of the world where it is profitable, especially North America and China, and focus on developing autonomous cars, and will likely need those resources more as a seven year growth period of USA industry sales comes to an end. Kazem said GMTC-I performs global work for GM and is not impacted by today's announcement. The other was to team up with a local partner to run full operations as an automaker designing products and manufacturing and marketing products locally.
Sources, however, said the decision would affect a minimum of 200 employees.
The union's General Secretary Irvin Jim in a press release said GM has already shut down the plant and communicated they would meet with Numsa to discuss developments but only "after the fact".