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Matthew Tsien named GM China’s president, Bob Socia retires

DETROIT – Matthew Tsien, 53, vice president of Planning and Program Management for General Motors China (GM China) and GM Consolidated International Operations and Strategic Alliances for China, will succeed Bob Socia as new president of GM China, effective on January 1, 2014, according to a GM news release on November 29.

In his new role, Tsien will become a member of the GM Executive Operations Committee, reporting to Dan Akerson, chairman and CEO of GM.

Tsien has served at GM for 37 year, and he has extensive experience in engineering, planning and management, both globally and locally. He was executive vice president of SAIC-GM-Wuling, a joint venture between GM, SAIC and Wuling, from 2009 to 2012.

Having helped negotiate the early joint ventures with SAIC, including Shanghai-GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), he has deep insight into the company’s China operations. In his current role, which he has held since January 2012, he oversees GM’s product planning and the growth of its product lineup across the region.

Socia, 59, announced to retire on January 1, 2014 after nearly four decades at the company managing a wide range of important positions around the globe.

Socia began his career with GM in 1975 in the Cadillac Division in Detroit and has held key positions in North America, Brazil, Europe and South Africa in addition to China. He took the post as GM China’s president in October 2012. During the 14 months in China, Socia led the growth of the company’s business in China market, working with the local partners. He also helped expand GM’s Cadillac portfolio and increased exports to emerging markets.

“We appreciate Bob’s 38 years of dedicated service and his significant contributions to GM in all of our regions,” said Akerson. “When Bob was appointed president of our largest market, our plan was for him to help prepare his successor. Matt is now ready to step into the role and we wish Bob the best in his retirement.”

GM and its joint ventures are on track to sell more than 3 million vehicles this year, a new record for the company. Earlier this year, GM announced that its joint ventures in China are investing about $11 billion in vehicles, facilities and people through 2016.

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