GM chief for China and manufacturing to retire

DETROIT Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:35am EST

DETROIT Jan 24 (Reuters) - The General Motors Co executive in charge of China and global manufacturing will retire on April 1, the No.1 U.S. automaker said on Friday.

Tim Lee, 62, will be replaced on Feb. 1 in the manufacturing job by Jim DeLuca, who is currently vice president of manufacturing for GM's international operations. GM China President Matt Tsien will lead operations in the world's largest auto market.

GM is a market leader in China, which along with the United States remains critical to the automaker's financial success.

Lee was named head of global manufacturing and chairman of GM China last August. He is also a member of the supervisory board for GM's Opel unit in Europe and chairman of Shanghai GM.

Lee, previously president of GM's international operations, had been considering retirement for some time and wants to spend more time with his family, a GM spokeswoman said.

DeLuca, 52, will report to GM's new chief executive, Mary Barra, in his new role, leading more than 200,000 employees at 171 facilities in 31 countries. A 35-year GM veteran, he has experience in global manufacturing, quality, labor relations and product launches.

In his current job, DeLuca managed the launch of 19 new vehicles in China and across the international operations region.

As the head of global manufacturing, GM said Lee oversaw quality improvements and cost reductions in product launches. Last year, the company launched more than 40 vehicles and nearly 25 powertrains around the world. In China, GM and its joint ventures sold a company record 3,160,377 vehicles last year.

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