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GM International (GMI) is our company’s most diverse region, with more than 100 markets in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
It includes both mature markets such as Australia and South Korea and high-potential growth markets ranging from India to Kenya and markets in the Middle East.
In 2015, more than 794,000 vehicles were sold by our team in GMI as we adjusted our business strategy to adapt to a “new normal” of foreign exchange fluctuations, low oil prices, and social and political instability.
Across emerging markets in our region, we continue to see significant untapped demand for four-wheel transportation. A combination of improving infrastructure, growth in middle class purchasing power and increasing connectivity are driving mobility trends across the region.
GMI is undergoing a transformation led by an unprecedented product offensive. In 2016, our markets are introducing 24 vehicles that take design, technology and competitiveness to a new level in their segments. By 2018, half of the products in our region’s showrooms will be completely new. We are leveraging outstanding local companies, such as our technology partner LG in South Korea, for GM’s current and next-generation vehicles.
We are backing up our new products with a renewed focus on the customer. In 2015, we began rolling out Chevrolet Complete Care at our dealerships to give our customers an unmatched level of service. We also introduced the I CARE Culture Award to recognize our employees and dealers who go the extra mile for the men and women who buy our vehicles.
At the same time, we are focused on building a strong base of local talent. This is critical for understanding new industry trends. A great example is GM India, which is welcoming about 70 graduates from tier-one engineering and business colleges.
Another means of promoting our brands and strengthening our positive reputation is corporate social responsibility. This is helping Drive a Better Tomorrow – one that is safer, smarter and healthier – for our customers, stakeholders and employees.
I want to share just a few of the many CSR activities from across GMI in 2015.
To support a safer community, GM East Africa partnered with the Automobile Association of Kenya in the Save Kids Lives educational initiative, while GM Korea and the local arm of Safe Kids provided blind zone safety classes. Following natural disasters in Vanuatu and Myanmar, GMI donated vehicles for emergency relief, while our teams in India and Australia donated money and supplies to those impacted by a massive earthquake in Nepal.
To support a smarter community, GM East Africa and GM South Africa helped rebuild schools, Chevrolet Thailand and GM India adopted classes at underprivileged schools, and GM Vietnam presented Chevrolet scholarships to 41 primary and middle school students.
To support a healthier community, we leveraged Chevrolet’s sponsorship of Manchester United by taking children from Thailand and India to Manchester as part of the Beautiful Possibilities Program. We also continued supporting One World Play Project, which is donating and distributing 2 million nearly indestructible footballs. In the same spirit, GM Thailand and GM Indonesia helped refurbish local football pitches, GM Egypt organized the Junior Football league for orphans, and GM Holden launched the Home Ground Advantage to support grassroots community sports across Australia.
Our employees have been actively involved in many of our CSR activities. GMI’s Singapore headquarters staff donated toys to the Toys for Tots Program in Southeast Asia, GM GBS Philippines employees reached out to street children in Manila, and employees in the Middle East helped hand out thousands of hot meals to laborers during Ramadan.
For their efforts, GM Korea won the Grand Prize in the Global Contribution category at the 2015 KCCI Forbes CSR Awards, while GM Thailand and GM Vietnam were honored by the American Chamber of Commerce in their respective markets for their commitment to CSR.
This is an exciting time for GMI. Our company and employees have a renewed focus on putting the customer at the center of everything we do while extending a helping hand to the communities where we live and work.
Executive Vice President & President, GM International