General Motors is retreating from unprofitable markets worldwide and will rely more on the United States, China, Latin America and South Korea in the future.
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General Motors Co is retreating from more markets outside of the United States and China, saying on Sunday that it will wind down sales, design and engineering operations in Australia and New Zealand and retire the Holden brand by 2021. It also said China’s Great Wall Motor Co Ltd had agreed to buy GM’s Thailand manufacturing plant, a transaction expected to be completed by the end of 2020. In rearranging its global operations, GM is accelerating its retreat from unprofitable markets, becoming more dependent on the United States, China, Latin America and South Korea.
GM Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara told analysts during a Feb. 5 presentation that restructuring GM’s international operations outside of China so they produce profit margins in the mid-single digits “does represent a $2 billion improvement” compared with 2018’s. Ahead of that presentation, GM forecast flat profit for 2020 and reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings in the face of a $3.6 billion hit from a 40-day United Auto Workers’ strike.