GM to stop sales in India, selling South African operations

May 19, 2017

GM is abandoning its 2015 plan to invest a billion dollars in India.  The automaker says it will continue to build cars at its Indian factories, but will export them to other countries.  Its brands will not be on the showroom floors of India.

The about-face makes sense to Rebecca Lindland of Kelley Blue Book.  She says the Indian car market is slowing, and Indian consumers rarely buy GM's most profitable vehicles - SUVs and trucks.  Instead, they tend to purchase very small vehicles, and GM makes next to no money selling those.

GM has also recently pulled manufacturing out of the money-losing markets of Russia, Europe and Australia.  Lindland says it shows that GM is no longer chasing market share for its own sake.

"The management's focus is on profitability," says Lindland.  "It's not on world dominance at a loss."

GM also plans to sell its manufacturing centers in  South Africa to Isuzu.  GM CEO Mary Barra says the company will focus on initiatives that offer a higher return.