An employee walks past new cars at a General Motors parking lot in Shenyang, Liaoning province August 1, 2012. China's Ministry of Transport projected the country will have more than 200 million vehicles on the road by 2020, roughly double the number in 2011, according to Xinhua News Agency. REUTERS/Sheng Li

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) spun off its China operations from its international unit on Friday and installed the former chief executive of Swedish automaker AB Volvo (OTCMKTS:VOLVY) to run the business.

The move puts a clear focus on the Detroit auto giant’s push in China, the world’s largest car market. “It will put us in a better position to take on the competition and take even greater advantage of all the opportunities that exist in the international market,” Katie McBride, a GM spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Four years after taking charge of the international division, Tim Lee was named chairman of GM China. He remains global chief of manufacturing, Reuters reported.

Stefan Jacoby, a former head of Volvo and executive at Volkswagen AG (ETR:VOW3), will replace him as head of international operations, comprised of more than 100 countries and territories across the globe.

“Stefan is a great addition to an already strong team,” GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement. “We expect him to continue building on his record of delivering results in markets around the world.”