General Motors will relocate its Asia Pacific regional headquarters
from Singapore to Shanghai by January, GM chairperson and chief executive
officer Rick Wagoner has announced.
GM Asia Pacific, the company's fastest-growing region, has 22,600 employees
in 14 countries from New Zealand in the south, to India in the west
and Korea in the north. The headquarters team oversees GM's business
functions throughout the vast region including finance, product planning,
communications, human resources, purchasing, public policy, legal and
information systems and service.
"Establishing our regional headquarters in Shanghai recognizes
how important China has become to our plans to expand our global industry
leadership," Wagoner said. "Having a strong presence in this
dynamic and growing market is not an option anymore, it's a necessity."
Wagoner also noted that the move will place GM's regional staff closer
to the rest of the company's operations in northeastern Asia, which
account for about 85 percent of our business. Those include GM Daewoo
Auto & Technology Co. in Korea, and GM's partnerships with Fuji,
Isuzu and Suzuki in Japan.
Troy Clarke, president of GM Asia Pacific, noted that China has become
and is expected to remain the world's fastest-growing vehicle market
for the foreseeable future. "We view long-term success and aggressive
expansion in China as a key part of our future growth around the world."
GM operates six joint ventures in China with its strategic partner
Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC). GM has the broadest
product portfolio and the second largest market share of any global
automaker in the country. On June 7, GM announced that it would make
more than US$3 billion in new investments in China over the next three
"Singapore is an outstanding place to do business," Clarke
said. "But our business model has changed substantially since we
originally located there in 1993."
GM Asia Pacific expects to settle on the exact location of its new
headquarters by the end of July and complete the move by January. GM
has offered to relocate most of its Singapore staff of about 90 employees.
GM will maintain a strong presence in Singapore through GM Overseas
Distribution Corporation, which will continue to direct the sale and
service of GM's growing lineup of imported vehicles in Singapore.
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