Ex-GM Official Leads Buyers of S. Africa Unit

Associated Press

General Motors said Monday that former GM executive Robert Price will head the local management team that is buying GM operations in South Africa as the U.S. parent firm pulls out of the country.

Price, an American who recently quit as a GM vice president in the United States, was managing director of GM-South Africa from 1971 to 1974, General Motors officials said at a news conference.

General Motors is among the major U.S. companies that decided to leave South Africa in the face of pressure from groups opposed to the Pretoria government's system of racial segregation.

At the news conference, Price said he saw no "obstacle that is insurmountable to the start of operations" by the new company on Jan. 1. No name for the new company was announced.

Robert White, GM's American managing director in South Africa, will return to GM in the United States, it was announced.

At the news conference, Price said the new company will "try to continue to do what is necessary to improve social and economic conditions" for its workers.

He and other company officials declined to disclose the purchase price, the length of GM's option to buy back the company and the size of the GM loan to the new owners.

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