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by Tim Beissmann

General Motors is reportedly planning to produce a higher percentage of its cars in low-cost countries as demand for GM vehicles increases around the world.

German magazine Der Spiegel claims an internal GM document titled ‘Global Assembly Footprint’ reveals plans to produce additional volume in countries like Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Poland and Russia.

According to the magazine, approximately 80 per cent of the additional volume will be produced in countries that have lower manufacturing costs. As many as 300,000 extra vehicles would be exported from China, Korea and Mexico to Europe by 2016 under the plan.

The report has cast a further shadow over the future of a number of GM’s European production facilities, namely Opel’s plant in Bochum, Germany and Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory in the UK.

Der Spiegel says the document also outlines the company’s plans to reduce its number of vehicle platforms from 30 to fewer than 15 by 2018, with few if any of it future models to be developed specifically for the European market.

The news follows last week’s confirmation that GM’s local subsidiary Holden has secured more than $1 billion – including $275 million from the federal government – to produce two all-new vehicles in Australia, guaranteeing its local operations until at least 2022.

GM was the world’s largest automotive manufacturer in 2011, with more than nine million vehicles sold – an increase of eight per cent over the previous year.




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