General Motors is moving its international headquarters from Shanghai, China, to Singapore. Stefan Jacoby, an executive vice president, will oversee about 120 employees in the new location, GM said in a statement.
The move, which expected to be complete in the second quarter of 2014, is part of the maker’s recently announced plans separate China operations from its international unit.
By splitting China from that group, the company can focus on the Chinese marketplace, which is the largest in the world. GM sold 2.84 million autos in China last year, making the country its biggest single market, and expects to deliver 3 million vehicles this year.
The U.S. automaker is spending $11 billion by 2016 on new plants and products in China and is building four assembly plants there to boost its production capacity to five million vehicles a year by 2015. It plans to keep 250 people in its Shanghai office to continue running its China operations.
GM said it had considered other locations for the relocation and looked into keeping the headquarters in Shanghai, but eventually decided on Singapore.
(GM’s third quarter earnings fell by half. For more, Click Here.)
The move to Singapore is actually a return to the city-state as, in 2004, GM moved its then-Asia-Pacific headquarters from there to Shanghai.
“It offers several advantages, including greater proximity to key CIO markets such as ASEAN and India, the Middle East and Africa,” said Lori Arpin, vice president of communications at GM International Operations, according to Reuters.
(Click Here to read how automakers are growing in China.)
GM said the Singapore office will oversee “key parts” of the company’s business in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, the Middle East and Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe as well as some of its sales and marketing, finance, government relations, human resources, information technology and legal functions.