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General Motors appoints new MD

Managing Director of GM sub-Saharan Africa Operations, Ian Nicholls.

General Motors (GM) announced the appointment of Ian Nicholls as President and Managing Director of General Motor’s South Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Israel operations, effective 01 June 2015.

This move is part of the company’s consolidation of its Africa and Middle East operations. Based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Nicholls will assume responsibility for the company’s manufacturing, sales and export operations in South Africa, as well as its sales operations in sub-Saharan Africa markets and Israel.
In his new role he reports directly to Mario Spangenberg, President and Managing Director of General Motors (GM) Africa and Middle East operations.
Combining its Africa and Middle East Operations into one business unit better positions General Motors to maximize the opportunities in the region, GM Executive Vice President and President, GM International (GMI), Stefan Jacoby said, “Combining GMI’s operations in two key markets will enable us to increase our focus on our business, our brands and ultimately our customers”. “It will strengthen GM’s competitiveness in major country markets such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa and Kenya”.
He added, “As part of a larger global strategy to ensure long-term sustainability and maximize shareholder value, we’re focusing our investments where the opportunity for GM’s growth is greatest. With a growing middle class and rising disposable incomes, GMI’s mix of nearly 100 emerging and mature markets represents one of GM’s largest opportunities.”
Meanwhile With fully equipped dealerships in Windhoek, Gobabis and Mariental as well as authorised service centres across Namibia, Auas Motors is the General Motors dealer in Namibia that stocks the full range of Chevrolet, Opel, Isuzu, Hummer and Cadillac vehicles.
In 2014, GM Africa sold 185,500 vehicles and GM Middle East Operations sold 98,200 vehicles.
Spangenberg said that the appointment of Nicholls into this role would enable the company to further streamline its sub-Saharan Africa operations from a product, distribution and customer support perspective.
Nicholls said that his immediate priority would be to ensure that a market driven portfolio is in place, to expand sales volumes both in the domestic and exports markets and to provide outstanding service to our customers. “We are well positioned for growth with our world class vehicle assembly plant and hi-tech Parts Distribution Centre based in Port Elizabeth, coupled together with our extensive distribution network of over 200 dealers in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
“Our strengthened portfolio of Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu passenger and light commercial vehicles, will enable us to meet and exceed the requirements of our customers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Already last year alone our Opel sales volume in South Africa grew by 36%, while our locally assembled Isuzu pick-up volume increased by 8%. And in Sub-Saharan Africa our overall sales volumes increased by 31%,” he added.

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