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article imageGeneral Motors pulls out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

By Karen Graham     Feb 17, 2020 in Business
General Motors has decided to pull out of Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand as part of a strategy to exit markets that don't produce adequate returns on investments.
In a statement posted on General Motors website on Sunday, the company said it would wind down sales, design and engineering operations in Australia and New Zealand and retire the Holden brand by 2021. The company will focus its strategies for the market on the GM specialty vehicle business.
China's Great Wall Motors will purchase the GM Rayong manufacturing facility in Thailand, and GM plans to withdraw the Chevrolet brand from the Thailand market by the end of the year, reports The Hill.
General Motors says the restructuring of its international operations is expected to cost about $1.1 billion. "We are restructuring our international operations, focusing on markets where we have the right strategies to drive robust returns, and prioritizing global investments that will drive growth in the future of mobility, especially in the areas of EVs and AVs,” CEO Mary Barra said in the statement.
#RIPHolden trending on Twitter
As part of its restructuring, GM had to make the decision to drop the Holden brand. The iconic brand name has been associated with Australia for 160 years, starting off as a saddle maker in South Australia in 1856 before it started building vehicles in 1908, reports the BBC.
Holden was bought by GM in 1931, beginning their 89-year history as a combined entity. The hashtag #RIPHolden is trending on Twitter as people post pictures and memories of the much-loved Australian brand.
β€œAt the highest levels of our company we have the deepest respect for Holden’s heritage and contribution to our company and to the countries of Australia and New Zealand,” said GM President Mark Reuss. The ending of Australian production of Holdens in 2017 resulted in nearly 2,900 job losses.
"In Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and related export markets, customers can be assured that GM will honor all warranties and continue to provide servicing and spare parts. Local operations will also continue to handle all recall and any safety-related issues, working with the appropriate governmental agencies," reads the statement.
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