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GM consolidates operations in Africa, appoints president, MD

General Motors is consolidating its sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa operations into a new unit, GM Africa, effective immediately and is appointing Mario A Spangenberg, currently president and MD of GM North Africa, as president and MD of GM Africa.
Spangenberg will be based at GM Africa's headquarters in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. With this consolidation, Tarek Atta will become MD of GM Egypt and North Africa, reporting to Spangenberg.

Edgar Lourençon, who has served as MD of GM South Africa and president of GM sub-Saharan Africa since November 2009, will assist in the transition and repatriate to South America later this year. He will report to Mark Barnes, GM International Operations vice president, sales, marketing and aftersales, and chief country operations officer, Africa and Australia.

Synergies across the continent

"Bringing our operations in Africa together will enable us to take advantage of synergies across the continent," said Tim Lee, GM vice-president, global manufacturing, and president, international operations. "It will put GM in a strong position to expand in a part of the world that has tremendous long-term potential for vehicle sales growth."

GM does business in more than 50 markets in Africa and has manufacturing operations in South Africa, Egypt and Kenya. In 2012, GM sold 180 493 vehicles in Africa, an increase of 17.5% from the previous year.

"We are pleased to have Mario, a proven leader and an agent of change, overseeing our Africa operations," said Barnes. "He has done an outstanding job growing GM's business in North Africa, despite intense political and economic challenges."

Spangenberg has been in his present position since 1 July, 2011. He earlier held key posts in other parts of the world, including director of sales operations for GM de Mexico, MD of international sales for GM Daewoo Auto & Technology in South Korea, and director of marketing for Adam Opel AG in Germany. He began his industry career in 1980 at Volkswagen.

"We thank Edgar for strengthening our operations in sub-Saharan Africa," said Lee. "In the short term, with his background and expertise, we will look for Edgar to provide his leadership in two critical areas - overseeing the launch of our new pick-up in South Africa and further strengthening the Isuzu relationship."

In addition to his most recent assignment in GM International Operations, Lourençon has held several important positions in South America, including director of quality and director of sales and field operations for GM in Latin America, and president and MD of GM Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Bolivia. He joined the company in 1977 as an engineer in Manufacturing Engineering at GM do Brasil.