General Motors has announced its exit from South Africa, a move which has been highly criticised by unions such as Numsa, which has vowed to stop them from unloading its remaining stocks of vehicles on to the SA market.
Apart from the jobs that will be lost as a result of the move, this is how South Africans will be affected:
- Ongoing after-sales and parts support will continue for all Chevrolet customers to the end of 2017.
- All existing warranties and service plans remain in place.
- From 2018, Isuzu dealers will provide after-sales and service support to Chevrolet and Opel customers.
- GMSA has undertaken to work closely with affected dealers on a transition plan.
- Customer support centre resources will be expanded and all warranties and service agreements, as well as ongoing service and parts requirements for all vehicles will continue to be honoured.
GM’s decision means that production and sales of all Chevrolet models will cease, and Isuzu Motors will take over the firm’s operations in Port Elizabeth. GM will stop selling Chevrolet vehicles locally by the end of the year.
Isuzu Motors will, subject to competition regulatory approval, purchase GMSA’s light commercial division and the Struandale manufacturing plant, as well as their minority shareholding in Isuzu Truck South Africa. Isuzu will continue manufacturing the Isuzu KB and medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks in Port Elizabeth.
GMSA employs more than 1 000 workers, of which 500 are based in the Chevrolet division. The vast majority are members of Numsa.
GMSA president and MD Ian Nicholls said: “These decisions were not made lightly. We will manage the transition as smoothly as possible.”
The company made it clear the decision had been made “based entirely on GM’s global business priorities” and that the withdrawal from SA was “not related to the policies of any government”.