SINGAPORE -- U.S. automaker General Motors is planning to reduce its headcount in Singapore from 180 to 50 by the end of the year.
"GM International will streamline its regional headquarters office in Singapore," said Lori Arpin, vice president of communications at GM International. "The office will be leaner and more decentralized."
Layoffs will occur in two tranches, one at the end of June and the other in December, but some of the 70% of employees affected are likely to be deployed elsewhere in the organization.
The Singapore downsizing is part of GM's review of global operations. Resources are to be refocused on markets like the U.S. and China that offer better financial returns.
On May 18, GM announced its withdrawal from the Indian car market by the end of the year. A manufacturing plant there in Talegaon will continue to produce, but solely for export. At the same time, GM announced the sale of its plant in South Africa, and divestment of a 30% shareholding in a truck joint venture with Japan's Isuzu Motors.
"As a result of these actions, GM expects to realize annual savings of approximately $100 million and plans to take a charge of approximately $500 million in the second quarter of 2017," GM said.
GM moved its international headquarters from Shanghai to Singapore in 2014 to service emerging markets, but left its China headquarters in place. The Singapore office has been overseeing operations in Africa, Australia, India, the Middle East, New Zealand, South Korea, and Southeast Asia.