Auto giant General Motors (GM) has reported that it will be slashing headcount in its Singapore headquarters to drive stronger financial performance and focus its capital and resources on business opportunities expected to deliver higher returns.

GM International will streamline its regional headquarters office in Singapore, which will retain responsibility for strategic oversight of the remaining regional business and markets, including Australia and New Zealand, India, Korea and Southeast Asia.

This will deliver greater organisational efficiency while leveraging global resources and in-market expertise.

These decisions were made following an extensive review of operations in GM International markets and reflect a series of actions taken to improve global business performance that began in late 2013.

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Stefan Jacoby, president at GM International said in the statement that the company is running its GM International markets with an enterprise approach and making decisions that are best for the global business. He said: “In India, our exports have tripled over the past year, and this will remain our focus going forward."

“We determined that the increased investment required for an extensive and flexible product portfolio would not deliver a leadership position or long-term profitability in the domestic market," he added.

GM is working with employees, their union representatives and local authorities across affected markets to provide transition support. As a result from the downsizing, GM expects to realise annual savings of approximately USD$100 million and plans to take a charge of approximately USD$500 million in the second quarter of 2017.

The charge will be treated as special and excluded from the company’s EBIT-adjusted results. About $200 million of the special charge will be cash expenses.

According to a report in The Straits Times, staff across the organisation are affected and were informed of the news two weeks ago. The firm is expected to layoff about 130 staff by the end of the year. This is also expected to be done in two batches – by the end of June, and the end of December this year.

Human Resources has reached out to GM for comments.

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