You may or may not know that General Motors operates in many different locations throughout the world and produces vehicles in 37 separate countries under 13 different brands. Those brands are Alpheon, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, HSV, Opel, Vauxhall, Wuling, Baojiun, Jie Fang and UzDaewoo.
GM turns up in some unusual places; it holds a 20% stake in Industries Mécaniques Maghrébines (IMM) a Tunisian car manufacturer headquartered in the city of Kairouan. A 77% stake in GM Korea, a number of joint ventures in China with, Shanghai GM, SAIC-GM, Wuling and FAW-GM. In Russia with GM-AvtoVAZ, Ghandhara Industries in Pakistan, GM Uzbekistan, General Motors India, General Motors Egypt, and Isuzu Truck South Africa.
GM employs over 212,000 people and does business in more than 120 countries and divides itself into five business segments:
- GM North America (GMNA)
- Opel Group (Europe)
- GM International Operations (GMIO)
- GM South America (GMSA)
- GM Financial.
From 1931 until 2007 General Motors led global vehicle sales for 77 years straight, longer than any other automaker, and is currently among the world's largest automakers by vehicle unit sales. GM acts in most countries outside the America with wholly owned subsidiaries, but operates in China through joint ventures.
In South Korea they produce a number of different GM vehicles like,
- Alpheon - An executive 4-door sedan
- Chevrolet Aveo/Sonic - A supermini 5-door hatchback or 4-door sedan
- Chevrolet Captiva - A mid-size SUV 5-door wagon
- Chevrolet Cruze – A small 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback or station wagon
- Chevrolet Malibu – A mid-size 4-door sedan
- Chevrolet Orlando – A small MPV 5-door wagon
- Chevrolet Spark – A 5-door hatchback
- Chevrolet Trax – A smaller SUV 5-door wagon
We see a few of these in New Zealand like the Captiva, Cruze, Malibu and Trax. Korea has become a key export hub for GM in recent years and by 2025, it is estimated South Korean production will be about 325,000 vehicles each year.
India about to be a new manufacturing hub
India hasn’t been the best for GM, despite operating in the country for the last 18 years. GM plans to turn India into its next big export hub. India’s auto market has been running close to 3 million cars annually but a shift in consumer preferences is occurring. The Indian buyer is no longer eyeing up budget economy vehicles but looking more to sub-compact vehicles. India is well underway in their automotive boom time and consumer confidence is growing making India Asia’s third largest economy.
GM wants the Chevrolet brand to take a piece of the action as more prosperity and buying power develops. GM has some pretty ambitious goals as most vehicles sell in India currently for around $NZ 5,000 - $NZ 8,000 and they are banking on those cars disappearing.
The lowest cost vehicle GM currently sells is a
Chevrolet Beat for around $NZ 11,000. GM says it’s targeting sales of 400 thousand vehicles in India by 2025 an ambitious goal considering it sold just over 57 thousand last year.
GM plans to introduce the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Spin to Indian consumers and they are saying this will be a new era for Chevrolet in India. While other GM manufacturing bases are safe for now, they aren’t reluctant in suggesting they will focus on making India an export capital capitalizing on the country’s low labor costs. They expect 30% of vehicles produced in India will be exported to other places around the world.