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GM appoints key staff to boost growth

NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 15- General Motors has announced two key appointments which it expects to help to strengthen growth opportunities across the region.

Rita Kavashe has been appointed Exports Director while Carolyne Matara will be General Counsel for GM’s Sub-Saharan Africa Region.  They will both be based at the company’s manufacturing operations in Nairobi, and will assume overall responsibility for their respective functions in the region.

Ms Kavashe previously headed up the sales and marketing department at GM East Africa for five years, while Ms Matara was previously GM East Africa’s Legal Counsel and both bring great experience to the new GM Sub Sahara operation.

GM Sub-Saharan President and Managing Director Edgar Lourencon said the appointments were testament to the importance the company attaches to growing its business in the region.

“We see Africa as the next frontier of growth.  There is so much potential on this resource rich continent and it is important that we are laying a solid foundation so that we are ready to participate in the future growth,” Mr Lourencon said.

GM’s Sub-Saharan region extends to over 40 countries with its biggest markets located in South Africa, Kenya, Angola, Nigeria, Ghana and Senegal.  Its key brands include Chevrolet, Isuzu and Opel.

According to Mr Lourencon, GM’s sales in Africa grew by about 10 percent in 2010 to around 165,000 vehicles, giving the firm approximately 13 percent share of the market.

“By strengthening our position in Sub-Saharan Africa, and especially in East Africa, we are ensuring that we can more aggressively grow our volumes,” he said.

Last year GM East Africa became the market leader in Kenya for the first time in 35 years when it achieved record sales of 3,017 vehicles, achieving a record market share of 24.25 percent.

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