Johannesburg - General Motors (GM) has announced a new strategy for its African business, which it hopes will allow it to capitalise on growing opportunities around the rest of the continent.
From the beginning of 2011, GM's operations will be split into two sub-regions: GM North Africa and GM sub-Saharan Africa.
GM North Africa will include Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania. It will be integrated into GM Egypt under its president and managing director Rajeev Chaba.
GM sub-Saharan Africa will include all other African countries, which will be integrated into GM South Africa under its president and managing director Edgar Lourencon.
"Africa's emerging markets offer tremendous long-term potential for General Motors," said Tim Lee, president of GM international operations.
"Our new business structure will align our growing business in Africa with the rest of GM international operations and provide better visibility for the continent within our entire company."
He said the firm aimed to grow its business across the rest of the continent.
GM's sales in Africa were positive in the first 10 months of 2010, rising 15% on an annual basis to 146 000 units, giving it 12.9% of the market.
Egypt and SA were the two strongest markets and accounted for more than 70% of the GM's African sales.
Lourencon said that GM South Africa was well positioned to serve as the base from which the firm could grow its business in sub-Saharan Africa.
"As part of our growth plans, we recently announced that we will be investing R1bn in three new vehicle assembly programmes to build the new generation Corsa Utility and Isuzu KB, as well as the new Spark," he said.
"In addition to this, we also recently opened our R250m new state-of-the-art parts distribution centre, providing an excellent platform to better service our customers in various African countries."
GM has an agreement with Isuzu to jointly pursue business growth in sub-Saharan Africa that will benefit the new African strategy.