GM names consultant new head of Indonesia operations

DETROIT Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:22pm EDT

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DETROIT Aug 30 (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Friday named consultant Michael Dunne president of its Indonesian operations as the U.S. automaker looks to boost sales in one of the world's hottest auto markets.

Dunne, who wrote a book about GM in China, will assume the job effective Sunday, succeeding Marcos Purty, who will take a new role within GM at the beginning of 2014, the company said. Dunne and Purty, who has been in Indonesia nearly three years, will work together through the end of the year.

"Michael Dunne brings two decades of automotive experience in major Asian markets, including China, Thailand and Indonesia," Stefan Jacoby, GM's new international operations chief, said in a statement. "He has a deep understanding of the business across the region.

Earlier this year, GM reopened its renovated plant in Bekasi, which builds the new Chevrolet Spin multipurpose vehicle -- a "people mover" van with three rows of seats. GM shuttered the plant in 2005 and had failed for decades to come up with the right vehicles in the country of 240 million people, but it hopes the Spin helps change its fortunes.

GM's Indonesia sales more than doubled last year, but still totaled only 6,592 vehicles. The auto market there is dominated by Japanese automakers, especially Toyota Motor Corp. However, the market is too tempting to ignore with sales expected to double over the next three years after hitting 1 million last year.

A native of Detroit, Dunne joins GM from his Hong Kong-based auto consulting firm Dunne & Co, which he started in 2010. He began working in the Asian auto industry in 1993, when he founded a company acquired in 2006 by J.D. Power and Associates.

Dunne could not be reached to comment, but in the GM press release said Indonesia "offers tremendous potential for automakers."

Dunne wrote "American Wheels, Chinese Roads: The Story of General Motors in China," a look at the U.S. automaker's operations in the world's largest auto market.

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