General Motors has announced it’s pulling out of Thailand, New Zealand and Australia as part of a strategy to exit markets that don’t produce adequate returns on investments.
GM said in a statement Sunday that it will wind down sales, engineering and design operations for its historic Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand in 2021.
It also plans to sell its Rayong factory in Thailand to China’s Great Wall Motors and withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of this year.
CEO Mary Barra says the company wants to focus on markets where it can drive strong returns. She says GM GM, -1.50% will support its employees and customers in the transition.
GM Scaling Back Operations
The company said it will scale back operations in all three countries to selling niche specialty vehicles. It also will make the same move in Japan, Russia and Europe, where “we don’t have significant scale.”
“We are pursuing a niche presence by selling profitable high-end imported vehicles supported by a lean GM structure,” International Operations Senior Vice President Julian Blissett said in the statement.
GM said it will honor all warranties in the markets, and it will continue to provide service and parts. Local operations also will handle recalls and any safety-related issues, the company said.
In August of last year General Motors Thailand announced was its cutting another 327 jobs at its Rayong plants. Part of a plan to reduce operating costs and slim down the manufacturing facility.
There was widespread news on social media hat GM Thailand laid off both regular and contract workforce. Of the total cuts, 141 jobs were regular employees.
According to the letter, the company noted it has proceeded with a reorganization plan since late 2017.
Meanwhile, China’s Great Wall Motor said on Monday it had signed a binding agreement to purchase a car plant from General Motors in Thailand.
Great Wall said in a statement it expects to complete transaction of Rayong car plant. Which is currently operated by GM, by the end of 2020. GM also said on Monday it was rearranging global operations.