GM Plant Seized by Authorities in Venezuela
General Motors has ended operations in Venezuela after local authorities seized its factory, the automaker announced.
Public authorities took over a General Motors plant in Venezuela yesterday and stole the automaker’s vehicles. In a statement, General Motors said the disruption caused “irreparable damage” to its Venezuelan division.
In the midst of its worst recession in decades, Venezuela has suffered a huge decline in its auto industry. Sales dropped 92 percent in March as all but the wealthiest citizens can afford new cars, Bloomberg reports. Meanwhile, revenue from oil is down significantly, and citizens wait in long lines to purchase basic goods while the cash-poor country struggles to import necessary supplies. The plant shutdown occurred during a particularly intense time, right as protesters gathered in the capital of Caracas to show their opposition toward President Nicolas Maduro.
Established in 1948, General Motors Venezolana is the oldest automaker in the country. It employed 2,678 people and has 79 dealers throughout Venezuela.
“GMV strongly rejects the arbitrary measures taken by the authorities and will vigorously take all legal actions, within and outside of Venezuela, to defend its rights.” GM said in a statement today, adding, “The company is confident that justice will eventually be served, and looks forward to continue leading the Venezuelan market.”
GM will continue to provide aftermarket support for its customers through dealerships. It will also offer separation benefits for employees who were forced out of a job by the unforeseen circumstances.