In November 2019 at the Dubai Motor Show, General Motors announced that the Chevrolet Onix would join the automaker’s Middle East lineup in late 2020. Although the logistics for its introduction in the region were quite advanced, GM has just abruptly canceled the launch of the second-generation Onix in the countries of Southwest Asia.
Today, the company announced that it will no longer be launching the new Chevrolet Onix in the Middle East after a more rigorous analysis of the comments and preferences of customers in the region. As such, GM puts an end to the Onix’s introduction process it had been executing during the past year, including field tests, the import of the first units and dealer training.
“As we move into the next phase of automotive technology, our commitment to our customer remains the same. At the heart of our business is our customer, with our strategy built on their feedback and preferences to ensure the right models come to market, both globally and in the Middle East,” said GM Middle East in a statement. “The decision not to bring the Chevrolet Onix to the Middle East is a direct result of this, coupled with our willingness to put a focus on future investments for high-demand segments,” the company added.
While the automaker did not disclose details about the specific reasons that prompted it to make this sudden decision, it is quite clear to us at GM Authority that it’s a direct consequence of two closely related factors: the negative impact of COVID-19 on the company’s finances and the appointment of Luay Al Shurafa as the new CEO of the Africa and Middle East division in mid-2020.
The Chevrolet Onix belongs to a low-profit, limited-volume segment in the Middle East, where the vast majority of customers prefer utility vehicles and pickups over cars. In fact, the company’s priority with the new leadership is to stabilize its business by ensuring the success of its major vehicle lines in the region, such as the Chevrolet Captiva, full-size pickups and SUVs as well as the premium offerings from Cadillac and GMC.
This decision by the company is very bad news for GM Mexico subsidiary, which was in charge of supplying the latest-generation Chevrolet Onix units that would reach the Middle East countries. The plan has reached such an advanced stage that the number of units and engines of the Chevrolet Onix to be manufactured at the San Luis Potosí plant had already already determined.