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GM South America to be headquartered in Sao Paulo

Jaime Ardila, president of GM South America.

Ardila: the highest ranking Hispanic in the company.

22 June 2010 – GM, Detroit, USA:

General Motors announced today it is creating a new regional organization to meet rising customer demand in South America.

GM South America will be headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil and will be led by Jaime Ardila, currently president and general manager GM Mercosur. Ardila becomes president, GM South America and will report to GM Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre. As a member of the Executive Committee and regional president, Ardila becomes the highest ranking Hispanic in the company.

“Jaime’s number one priority will be to ensure the very best for our customers in this important and growing region,” Whitacre said.

GM South America includes GM’s existing sales and manufacturing operations in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela as well as sales activities in those countries and Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. GM South America currently has 29,000 employees. 

As part of GM’s global product operations organization, GM South America has product design and engineering capabilities, which will allow it to continue creating local cars and trucks that complement GM’s global product architectures. In the first five months of the year, GM sold 394,000 vehicles in South America and its market share was 20.2 percent.

“The GM International Operations team is doing a great job expanding our global presence,” said Whitacre. “However, with the rapidly growing markets in Asia, the Middle East and Russia, we need the GMIO team focused exclusively on those countries that are critical to our growth.”

In related moves, Denise C. Johnson, vice president, Labor Relations, will become president and managing director, GM do Brazil, effective July 1, 2010. She will report to Ardila.

Catherine L. Clegg, GM North America manufacturing manager, succeeds Johnson as vice president, Labor Relations, effective July 1, 2010. She will report to Diana Tremblay, GM vice president, Manufacturing and Labor Relations. A successor for Clegg will be announced in the near future.

“This is an exciting development for our team in South America,” said Ardila. “I’m honored to lead the effort in the new South America region, and even more inspired to collaborate with our colleagues around the world to bring the best cars and trucks to our customers in the region.”

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