General Motors shifts gears and announces plans pull out of India

General Motors

General Motors has announced it will cease sales in India, one of the world’s most booming auto markets, by the end of the year.

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — General Motors has announced a retreat from one of the world’s hottest car markets, and its most rapidly developing economy.

The company said Thursday it will stop selling its cars in India by the end of this year, following a “comprehensive review” of plans for the country. A stark contrast from an announcement the company made just two years ago, when GM said it would pour $1 billion into its India operations.

That plan has been scrapped as part of a bigger rethink of global operations.

The company is additionally pulling operations out of South Africa, selling its production facilities in the country to Isuzu Motors and will stop selling Chevrolet vehicles by the end of 2017. However, General Motors will continue to manufacture cars in India for export. Vehicles made at the firm’s plant near Mumbai will be exported primarily to Mexico, South America and Central America, it said.

“We explored many options, but determined the increased investment originally planned for India would not deliver the returns of other significant global opportunities,” said Stefan Jacoby, president of GM International, in a statement.

Ford has been exporting Indian-made SUVs to the U.S. since November 2016.

A second plant in the western state of Gujarat, where General Motors ceased manufacturing last month, will likely be sold to Chinese partner SAIC Motor, which is bidding to enter the crowded but promising Indian market.

Nearly three million passenger vehicles were sold in India last year, according to industry data, and the country is projected to overtake Japan as the world’s third largest car market by 2020. Some of the world’s top brands, including Volkswagen, Peugeot, Citroen, Toyota and Kia are all hoping to cash in on the growth.

General Motors, however, have struggled to gain any significant ground in more than two decades in the Indian market, where its Chevrolet brand has captured just one percent of the market.

“Our decision in India is an important milestone in strengthening the performance of our GM International operations and establishing GM as a more focused and disciplined company,” Jacoby added.

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