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Business deals

China carmaker insulates Thailand from blow of GM pullout

Asia woes mount for one of Detroit's Big Three as it also leaves Australia

A Chevrolet pickup truck displayed at a motor show near Bangkok in 2018: GM will sell its manufacturing facilities in Thailand to China's Great Wall and suspend all sales in the country this year. (Photo by Hiroshi Kotani)

NEW YORK/BANGKOK -- General Motors is retreating from Thailand as part of a broad downsizing of its Asia-Pacific operations, but the entry of Chinese player Great Wall Motor is expected to cushion the blow to the Southeast Asian country.

Weak sales had eroded profits from the Thai and Oceania operations to levels that made it difficult for the Detroit automaker to justify maintaining them. GM will now shift its regional focus to a smaller subset of markets, including China -- which accounts for more than 40% of global sales volume -- and South Korea even as the coronavirus epidemic threatens consumer and business activities there.

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