General Motors has agreed to sell the majority ownership stake in its East African business unit to Japanese automaker Isuzu Motors.
Isuzu announced Tuesday it will acquire 57.7% of the GM-owned General Motors East Africa unit’s stocks to become a subsidiary of Isuzu Motors. GMEA will now be known as Isuzu East Africa. Shareholders of the business—prior to this agreement—include 57.7% by GM Asia Pacific Holdings, 20% by Industrial and Commercial Development Corp., 17.8% by Centum Investments, and 4.5% by Itochu Corp.
Isuzu Motors, which was a partner in General Motors East Africa, made the investment to expand its commercial vehicle production and sales in the region.
GMEA was established in 1975 as a joint venture between GM and Kenya’s government. GMEA’s factory in Nairobi assembles Isuzu-badged light and mid-duty trucks and buses. The business unit also imports and sells Isuzu pickup trucks and GM-branded Chevrolet passenger cars in Eastern Africa.
GMEA has maintained the top share in Kenya’s commercial vehicle market for five years since 2012, according to Isuzu.
GM also has two other African business units: General Motors South Africa and General Motors Egypt.
GMSA has a factory that produces Chevrolet, Oakland, GMC trucks, Buick, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Vauxhall vehicles. The business unit also markets and sells the brands Chevrolet, Opel, and Isuzu.
GM’s sale of GMEA follows the company’s strategy under the leadership of CEO Mary Barra to streamline its business. Earlier this month, GM confirmed it was in talks to sell its money-losing European unit Opel to PSA, the French company that makes Peugeot and Citroen cars.