A top executive with General Motors said the planned shutdown of the automaker’s plants in Australia could allow South Korea to ship more cars to the region.
Just to refresh our memory, GM said last month it would stop making cars in Australia by 2017 due to high costs and a cripplingly strong currency and the announcement followed the news it intends to pull the Chevrolet brand out of Europe by the end of 2015 to concentrate on Opel.
“We are building our puzzle pieces together for the international markets,” Stefan Jacoby, GM’s new international operations chief, told reporters on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show.
The Chevy pullout plan sparked jitters in Korea about restructuring of GM Korea’s operations, which supply most of the Chevy cars sold in Europe. Mary Barra, the incoming CEO of General Motors, told reporters that GM “remains very committed to the Korean market.”
Jacoby also said he planned shutdown of the Australian plants offers “a lot of opportunity,” adding there was a “good likelihood” South Korea would ship more cars to Australia given a bilateral trade deal. Still, he said no decision had been made yet.