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Don't panic, says GMSA

2008-11-13 11:58

Riana de Lange

Port Elizabeth - It's difficult to say exactly how General Motors South Africa (GMSA) will be affected by GM's North American crisis, because the company and its products have worldwide connections.

Nevertheless, South Africa falls within GM's LAAM (Latin America, Africa and the Middle East) division, which showed a profit of $500m in the third quarter, reported Pat Morrissey, GM's chief director for communications in the LAAM region, on Wednesday.

About 60% of GM's global sales are outside the US.

GMSA has also progressed well towards becoming more cost-effective and competitive. By the end of this year some 1 000 people will have left GMSA's service voluntarily, bringing about a significant reduction in costs.

Morrissey pointed out that South Africa remains one of GM's key growth markets, and no changes in South African product programmes are envisaged, even if some of these products are manufactured elsewhere in the world.

He said there is no reason for GMSA employees or clients to panic.

GM North America is doing everything in its power to become as cost-effective as possible and by 2010 cutbacks will effect savings of $13bn.

But the problem will be how quickly the US economic crisis unfolds. For that reason GM, like other major motor industry players, has asked the American government for assistance, says Morrissey.

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