GM’s decision to buy the remaining 51% of Delta comes after negotiations between the two started in October last year. In 1997, GM bought 49% of Delta.
The proposed deal is subject to approval by South Africa’s Competition Commission.
Robert Socia will be appointed president and managing director of General Motors South Africa (GMSA) and Jeffrey S McGuire will be appointed director of human resources, GMSA.
Socia would succeed Willie van Wyk, managing director of Delta, who has elected to leave the company in order to pursue other interests but will assist in the transition.
“Willie van Wyk started at Delta as director of sales and marketing and his leadership and performance led to his appointment as managing director in 1992. He has done a great job of leading Delta to a prominent place in the industry and leaves a very solid, competitive company,” said Maureen Kempston Darkes, GM group vice-president and president of GM’s Latin America, Africa, Middle East region.
Prior to this assignment, Socia has been a vice-president of GM Europe in charge of worldwide purchasing in Russelsheim, Germany, since 1999.
He also served as chairperson of GM-Fiat Worldwide Purchasing since the establishment of the purchasing joint venture in the fall of 2000.
Socia (49) began his career with the Cadillac Division of General Motors in 1975 in finance, before moving into the purchasing function. He has held a number of purchasing and materials management positions for the former BOC Group, Cadillac and GM do Brasil, before becoming executive director of chemicals at GM’s worldwide purchasing.
Reuters reports that, if the deal is approved by the Competition Commission, GM will join European and Japanese rivals such as BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen and Toyota Motor Corporation who have consolidated their positions in South Africa through either wholly-owned subsidiaries or majority shareholdings in local units.
GM, the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer, employs about 340 000 people globally and has manufacturing operations in 32 countries.