General Motors said the move was prompted by last year's 21 percent drop in sales when the company sold 25,823 vehicles. "The company has already shut down the plant and has indicated that they will meet with us to discuss the latest developments‚ but that is after the fact‚" Numsa general secretary Irvin Jim said.Numsa claims GM acted unilaterally and did not inform the union of this decision.
The answer to the question‚ "What does this mean for me?" is: "If you are an Isuzu‚ Chevrolet or Opel owner ongoing aftersales and parts support will continue through the existing GM dealer network to the end of 2017". The company will now focus on exporting vehicles from its manufacturing plant at Talegaon in Maharashtra after it stopped production at its first plant at Halol in Gujarat last month. 'In India, our exports have tripled over the past year, and this will remain our focus going forward, ' he said.
"We explored many options, but determined the increased investment originally planned for India would not deliver the returns of other significant global opportunities". In addition, following the recent announcement of the sale of Opel to the PSA group, GM will work with PSA to develop the future strategy for the Opel brand in South Africa (but it remains unclear what that strategy might entail). GM's International Operations, aside from China, have been a drag on the company's earnings for several years. It had been selling Chevrolets since 1918 and even opened a factory near Bombay in 1928. It started selling cars under the Opel brand, and later switched to the Chevrolet badge. It has centered most of its emerging-markets investment on China and Brazil. While GM will continue to operate its plant in India, where the automaker employs about 5,000, but will reduce its workforce by about 8%, or 400 employees. India started its India operations in 1996 and has so far invested over a billion dollar.
GM India's business appeared to have stabilised around 2011-12 when its sales crossed over a lakh units.
In South Africa, Isuzu Motors will acquire GM's light commercial vehicle manufacturing. "Chevrolet India is committed to maintain a service network across key locations in India with staff trained to take care of all the needs of your Chevrolet for maintenance and fix".
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"Globally, we are now in the right markets to drive profitability, strengthen our business performance and capitalize on growth opportunities for the long term".
The move to exit a large and growing market will be a big blow to the company.
The Detroit automaker's decision to cut its losses in India, where it sold about 29,000 vehicles past year, was accompanied by news that it plans to sell off its South African operations to Japan's Isuzu Motors and cut back on the 200 staff it employs in Singapore.
The US-based company's Talegaon plant will now concentrate on production only for export markets, said the company in conference call with media.