GM plans to pull out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM plans to pull out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand
FILE - This Jan. 27, 2020, file photo shows a General Motors logo at the General Motors Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in Hamtramck, Mich. GM is pulling out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand as part of a strategy to exit markets that don't produce adequate returns on investments, the company said in a statement Sunday, Feb. 17. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says it’s pulling out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand as part of a strategy to exit markets that don’t produce adequate returns on investments.

The company said in a statement Sunday that it will wind down sales, engineering and design operations for its historic Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand in 2021.

It also plans to sell its Rayong factory in Thailand to China’s Great Wall Motors and withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of this year.

CEO Mary Barra says the company wants to focus on markets where it can drive strong returns. She says GM will support its employees and customers in the transition.

The company said it will scale back operations in all three countries to selling niche specialty vehicles. It also will make the same move in Japan, Russia and Europe, where “we don’t have significant scale.”

“We are pursuing a niche presence by selling profitable high-end imported vehicles supported by a lean GM structure,” International Operations Senior Vice President Julian Blissett said in the statement.

GM said it will honor all warranties in the markets, and it will continue to provide service and parts. Local operations also will handle recalls and any safety-related issues, the company said.