BH CORRESPONDENT, Melbourne: US automaker General Motors (GM) has confirmed that it plans to wind down sales, engineering and design operations for its historic Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand in 2021. GM has 828 employees in Australia and New Zealand and about 1,500 in Thailand.
The downsizing is claimed to be part of a strategy to exit markets that don’t produce adequate returns on investments for the company.
In a related development, GM 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. Both parties have signed a MoU to this effect. However, the two companies will require government and regulatory approvals to complete the transaction.
While there’s gloom in Australia and New Zealand among the GM workforce, the Thailand chapter seems to be more on the brighter side. GM International Operations senior vice-president Julian Blissett said the double whammy – pulling out of Australia/New Zealand and Thailand – is costing General Motors more than $US1 billion combined. The decision to disband Holden came after a variety of survival plans were presented to GM top management didn’t
This is because China-based Great Wall Motors carmaker aims to expand its operations into Thailand and ASEAN markets. GWM global strategy vice president Liu Xiangshang said, “The global strategy of Great Wall Motors has begun to take shape after more than 10 years of development. In the past two years, through the export model transformation and upgrades, Great Wall Motors has accelerated the pace of its strategic global roll out.