DETROIT (AP) - General Motors Co. has carved up its international operations tocreate a unit that will serve South America where it controls about20 percent of the market.
The company said in a statement Tuesday that GM South Americawill be based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and will handle sales andmanufacturing in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela,Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
GM appointed Jaime Ardila as president of the new region. Hewill report to Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre.
Ardila had been in charge of the company's Mercosur operationsthat include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The new region will allow GM's international operations unit toconcentrate on growing markets including Asia, Russia, Australiaand other countries, the company's statement said.
Recently GM has had only three regional units -- North America,Europe and International Operations. Splitting off a fourth unitstructures the company similar to what it was before last year'sstay in bankruptcy court. At that time, GM had four units:Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and Latin America-MiddleEast.
In his new post, Ardila will join the company's executivecommittee.
A separate South America region is needed to handle risingcustomer demand, GM's statement said.
GM has sold nearly 400,000 vehicles in South America during thefirst five months of the year.
The South American unit employs about 29,000 people inmanufacturing, sales and product design and engineering.
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