General Motors is appointing a new president to its South America market to help the automaker grow sales there.
The automaker announced the move Tuesday. Santiago Chamorro, 51, will be president and managing director of GM South America effective immediately. He replaces Carlos Zarlenga, who has “elected to leave,” said George Svigos, GM spokesman.
Chamorro has recently served as GM vice president of its Global Connected Services in Michigan, but has held other senior leadership roles for GM in South America and its global headquarters in Detroit over the past 27 years he has been with the automaker.
Chamorro’s first task is to lead “the implementation” of planned investments in GM’s future operations in South America and ramp up production “as the industry emerges” from the global semiconductor chip shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic, GM said in a statement.
Chamorro said that GM is in a strong position to grow in South America by “combining our outstanding South America team and partners, with our winning portfolio and the factories resuming production, we have the right fundamentals.”
GM has seen its market share erode in South America and sales of Chevrolet vehicles in Brazil and Argentina decline dramatically this year. In the second quarter, GM reported its total market share in South America was 9.8% down from 14.5% in the year-ago period.
Chamorro will report to Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president and president of GM International. Chamorro will relocate from Michigan to São Paulo, Brazil.
“Santiago has a deep knowledge of our South American markets, as well as strong relationships through our global organization,” Kiefer said in a statement. “This positions him well to continue to link our business in South America with GM’s global vision of the future.”
Chamorro has served as president of GM Colmotores in Colombia in the past. He was also general manager for GM South America sales, service and marketing and CEO of GM Brazil.
In his most recent position as vice president of Global Connected Services, his team promoted innovative connected vehicle technologies. GM provides OnStar and Connected Services to 22 million customers worldwide, GM said.
Jeff Massimilla, 44, GM executive director of Connected Customer and Mobility Services, will replace Chamorro as vice president of Global Connected Services.