General Motors will open a new headquarters in Singapore to be able to oversee markets that include Southeast Asia and India in the second quarter of 2014. It will be headed by Stefan Jacoby, an executive vice president at GM, with an oversight of over 120 employees, GM said in a statement. The operation will also oversee GM’s operations in South Korea, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
GM reorganized its overseas businesses in August, separating China in the process. The carmaker named Tim Lee as chairman of its Chinese operations and placed Jacoby in charge of over 100 countries and territories. Lee remains in Shanghai, China where the current operations are based. He oversees 12 joint ventures and more than 55,000 employees.
Namrita Chow, an analyst at IHS Automotive, told Bloomberg that GM is strengthening its sales in high-growth markets in Asia and Africa, especially markets like Indonesia. He noted that a base in Singapore will help GM expand its focus on those markets without having them sidelined by its China operations.
GM, which has two plants in India and one in Thailand, sold 2.84 million vehicles in China in 2012, making it its biggest single market. It expects to sell 3 million vehicles this year in China. GM is investing $11 billion by 2016 on new site and products in China and is currently building four assembly sites to heighten its production capacity to five million vehicles annually by 2015.