GM said that its president of GM Southeast Asia and Thailand will leave the company at the end of July to pursue other interests.
Martin Apfel, 53, has joined GM in 1989 and is the second overseas GM executive who chooses to leave the company in the past several weeks. Apfel will be replaced by two executives until the automaker will find a permanent successor. On June 21st, GM announced that Susan Docherty, the Chevrolet and Cadillac sales chief in Europe, will leave the company on September 30th, after 27 years with the car maker.
GM has been trying to shore up Chevrolet sales outside the US. At the end of last month the automaker appointed U.S. sales chief Alan Batey to lead global Chevrolet, which accounts for more than 50% of GM’s global sales. GM and other automakers view markets in Southeast Asia as possible growth engines, as emerging markets account or 50% of vehicles sold globally and analysts predict that figure at two-thirds by 2020.
Apfel’s role will be taken by Jim DeLuca, vice president of manufacturing for GM’s international operations. Mark Barnes, the vice president of sales and marketing for the automaker’s international operations and also the chief operations officer for Africa and Australia, will be the one responsible for sales and marketing in Southeast Asia for now.