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General Motors to withdraw from Thailand this year

General Motors declared that it will stop selling Chevrolet vehicles in Thailand and sell its Rayong plant by the end of 2020.

“Low plant utilization¬†[and low] forecast domestic and export volumes impacted the business case significantly,” stated Andy Dunstan, GM president for strategic markets, alliances and distributors.

GM will keep supporting existing Chevrolet consumers for ongoing after sales, warranty and repair work through its authorized service outlets.

GM Southeast Asia president Hector Villarreal stated the automaker would provide its workers with better severance packages than those required under Thailand labor law.

GM is preparing to sell its manufacturing plant located in Rayong province to China’s Great Wall Motors (GWM) by year’s end.

“The acquisition of GM’s Thai Rayong plant will help the business development of Great Wall Motors in Thailand and the Asean market. Great Wall Motors will expand through the entire Asean region with Thailand at the centre, and export its products to other Asean countries as well as Australia,” stated Liu Xiangshang, Great Wall global strategy vice president.

GM entered Thailand in January 2000, later forming two manufacturing centers at Rayong’s WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate — a vehicle assembly plant with yearly production capacity for 180,000 units and a powertrain plant with yearly capacity for 120,000 units — with a total investment of US$1.4 billion.

GM has 1,900 workers in the country, with 1,200 at manufacturing sites.

The automaker announced on Sunday that it will also wind down sales, design and engineering operations in Australia and New Zealand, and eliminate the Holden brand by 2021, as it retreats from markets outside the United States and China.

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