General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) is reportedly expanding its Chevrolet brand retail presence in Kabul, Afghanistan and the emirate of Dubai with a modest $50 million investment, according to a local Afghan media report.
If the report is true it would mark an effort by General Motors to take some of the car market -- in the capital city of one of the poorest countries on the planet -- from Toyota Motor Corporation (TYO:7203), the dominant player in the Afghan auto sector whose global top selling sedan, the Corolla, is ubiquitous on the streets of the country’s larger cities, while its Hilux pickup is the go-to transportation method of choice for sheep herders and tribal militants.
Sher Saeedi, head of Chevrolet's branch in Kabul, told the Afghan new service TOLOnews.com that GM examined the local market and decided there was enough demand for new Chevrolets. The report didn’t mention which models, but RMA Group Ltd., which operates Chevrolet showrooms in the country, sells Chevy Aveos, Cruzes and Trailblazers, with prices ranging from $18,000 to $50,000, according to AmCham Afghanistan.
“We will be sending our employees to Dubai for training so they can provide better services to our valued customers," Saeedi said.
GM was unavailable to comment Tuesday morning to confirm the news.