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Published: Wednesday, 6/23/2010

GM creates new South American unit


DETROIT — General Motors Co said Tuesday that it was creating a new unit to handle its business in South America, a market it said was marked by rising customer demand.

The company said the new unit, called GM South America, will be headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and be led by Jaime Ardila, currently president and general manager of the automaker's operations in the Southern Common Market.

Ardila's title in the new job will be president, GM South America, and he will report to Ed Whitacre, the company's chairman and chief executive.

GM said Ardila would be the company's highest ranking Hispanic employee.

The new unit will include GM's existing sales and manufacturing operations in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela as well as sales activities in those countries and Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

GM South America currently employs about 29,000 workers.

In the first five months of the year, GM sold 394,000 vehicles in South America and its market share was 20.2 percent.

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