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GM looking to complete retreat from India

1079 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Stéphane Dumas
Although GM stopped producing vehicles in India back in 2017, there have been lingering nagging issues complicating the company's retreat from the country, including government regulations and legal issues with former employees.

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Usa brands have been struggling all over the world for decades: in decline (sales andor revenues, certainly profitability missing) gradually in any case but with such episodes (i quit!) ever more often. Gm and ford in europe, brazil/latam, Both gm and ford from india and japan and say australia, etc. Of course gm, unlike ford, succeeded in china so there is that. However profitability there too has been and it seems will remain at risk for gm there too. To marchionne's credit he pushed into china more cautiously, and pulled the plug for the FIAT brand there as well as from India just as soon as the writing was on the minimal cost unlike gm (india, australia...europe) and ford (india and brazil) who ended up doing so in a huff and suddenly only a few years too late. Marchionne/Manley went with Jeep instead, much more successfully, sustainably, profitably although hardly in china as yet. Stellantis has now pulled out of china local manufacture. There is no money to be made competing against the japanese korean and tata motors oligopoly in india. But stellantis has just introduced the citroen brand here (ie undoing the correct departure of fiat). But as cheap export hub for rhd markets, and a cheap yet high capabilty location for development, r&d, engineering and IT services as well as component sourcing esp for diesel (fca india) and small turbopetrol engines (now citroen/stellantis) it still makes good sense for stellantis to remain in india (jeep and citroen.) The one with an even worse record of expensive faddish over expansion into emerging markets than gm and ford was renault nissan under carlos ghosn, but that was a too clever attempted compensation for a weak position in the usa market. The champion among euro and american firms at emerging markets is ....exFCA with fiat and then jeep albeit only in brazil/latam and turkey. ExPSA too: strong in iran egypt morocco etc. Carlos Tavares is unlike marchionne keen on further growth in such markets: targetting for latam and middle east plus india+asean to have revenues and even profits be co equal with europe and n america. May happen...since stellantis has long been profitable in such markets unlike say gm ford epic accumulated losses. And is done punting on china, large but with huge political and financial risks. GM and ford, gone from the other emerging markets, are still going to carry on there. JEEP has expanded hugely outside n america including esp in latam and europe as well as the 'middle east' in these same years that have seen gm and ford lose shares brand cachet and money in such markets. Credit very much to marchionne plus mike manley for that....helped along by the fact that jeep is not necessarily regarded as american: the jeep name is sortof global and generic(for proper 'suv') in most markets....rather than seen as 'murican in essence?
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Agreed, very much. But it has to do with the crises in industrial capitalism ('fordism')in the usa since the 70s, and the industrialization of first japan then taiwan korea then china india etc. Financialization and software industry and hollywood etc have thrived instead in and from usa. American automotive brands have suffered especially therefore at 'globalization': despite the potential still being intact as proven by gm china and fca with JEEP. The brands let down by the old (pre2008) industrial business system in structural crisis ('rust belt' etc) Not that parallel crises in national industrial systems did not and are not also occuring in the uk italy germany france brazil japan now india and china.... @Dave Z
It is still a great question: why have gm and ford re/ceded, both as brands and financially, from nearly all other markets barring GM in china? Decade after decade? Not for want of trying, over/investing in them but then downsizing/quitting? etc

Of course JEEP has been and is finally expanding well globally but there are limits to that too (squeezed by Toyota and the German marques from 'above' and the korean and now chinese ones from 'below'...etc)

The great exception to this long term recessionary trend in the American automotive brand charisma and presence around the world is of course .....Tesla: non legacy 'American' automotive brand that has already grown large in europe and china at high margins and very profitably....with much global expansion of brand and of manufacturing base to come as electrification happens even in other more emerging markets.

Is that precisely BECAUSE it is 'non legacy' Detroit 3 in its self perpetuating image of success. As against the legacy american brands' loss of special American aura in so many markets around the world (that loss is also now underway in china? )
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It is not the 'brands'! As a former owner of a (euro) Ford i am saddened and bewildered by ford and gm for eg in india. Why spend billions only to give up and quit in short order (just 1 model range lifecycle!) Btw Bob Lutz is on record that gm's board shot down his and gm ceo rick w 's formal proposal to acquire chrysler corp in the years before the 2008 bankruptcy. Also mercedes was not willing to 'sell' for such a low price. The GM board was putoff by the costs of such a large uaw workforce! He says their analysis showed 11billion$ of synergies....resulting in a champion GLOBAL automaker, allAmerican to boot. THAT, too, was partly the spirit of Marchionne's desire to merge with or (hostile)takeover GM in 2016. Again something that Bob Lutz publicly supported in principle. America's automotive legacy brands esp chevy, cadillac and jeep, dodge would'v been BACK in a pre eminent position globally, including in europe india latam middle east AND china, strong enough even in korea (gm daewoo) and japan (esp with Jeep....and Fiat, alfa, maserati.)
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Jeep sales in europe and latam are still growing, as also in middle east petrostates. And japan. Jeep is down in china (local manufacture jv is closed: only high value imports from usa henceforth in china), and yet to recover in australia. (Adjusting for overall market seasonality ukraine war etc) jeep exports of wrafrom usa will slow and not grow as planned since the us$ is so strong.
Tell that to tavares and richard palmer who are gleeful about the strong dollar (esp the current bout caused by large fast fed tightening): a good chunk ie several billion euros of stellantis' bumper global industry leading (more or less) profitability and (net)margins is due to 'favorable fx translation' aka strong dollar! The yen the korean won the aussie$ the brazilian real...the dirham too have consistently made 'imported from detroit' uncompetitive price wise (all else being equal), in fact that is a major reason why gm and ford globalized manufacturing with their non USA models....only to STILL be uncompetitivw on cost price with japanese korean and now china firms and models because of the consistently depreciated yen yuan won etc. Why do you suppose gm and ford (and chrysler corp and then fca) have withered away from australia.....also india, brazil etc. The made in usa fca Cherokee flunked in europe (large exports had been planned from usa) largely due overpricing due to strong dollar. Dollar is always too strong, even when fed doesn't raise interest rates fast and furious as currently. Because usa fiscal AND trade deficits are so epic that the dollar ought to ALWAYS be much much lower than the levels it. I believe the dollar's 'global reserve currency' status then is central to why usa manufacturing exports for eg of gm or ford cars and trucks and suv s and engines transmissions etc have suffered. Ie one major part of why gm and ford for eg have over last 2 decades or more withered and failed in global markets (ex n america). The dollar is always over valued relative to the epically epic size of american deficits. Incidentally the 'price' has been paid for this by usa labor esp in manufacturing. Just as italian labor costs and jobs bore the cost of the overvalued euro/common currency (to the benefit of german auto firms)
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