GM On Its Own In Japan
GM will go it alone in Japan. From November on, GM will “switch to direct sales for all its Japanese-market models, some of which are now sold by a Mitsui & Co. unit,” reports The Nikkei [sub]. Mitsui Bussan Automotive began handling GM vehicles in 1992 and focused mainly on large SUVs, such as the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Avalanche, Traverse, Silverado and HHR.
When taking over the business from Bussan, GM will drop all the cars except for the Cadillac Escalade. Sales of the other cars will end after inventories run out. GM will focus on smaller cars like the Chevrolet Sonic and other models for which it anticipates strong sales. Its own unit imported cars like the Cadillac CTS and SRX, and the Chevrolet Corvette, Camaro, and Captiva. According to data by the Japan Automobile Importers Association, GM sold 2,345 cars in Japan last year, including 376 Hummers (which were popular amongst a certain segment that is often short a finger.)
Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
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