GM's China micro-van joint venture Wuling names GM exec as EVP


By Norihiko Shirouzu

BEIJING Oct 12 (Reuters) - General Motors Co onFriday said that its minicar joint-venture producer in Chinaappointed Ray Bierzynski as its executive vice president, tofill the position vacated by a manager who left the jointventure to work for Tata Motors.

Bierzynski, with GM since 1978, assumes his new job at SAICGM Wuling Automobile Co amid shifting market and businessconditions.

Once-zooming sales of no-frills micro-vans, which Wulingmanufactures, are showing signs of a slowdown, and to keepdemand for those workhorse vans expanding, the company isseeking business outside China.

Bierzynski, 52, replaced Karl Slym who GM said in Augustdecided to leave Wuling after less than a year on the job tojoin Tata as managing director.

One thing Bierzynski brings to SAIC GM Wuling is hisAsia-Pacific experience, the executive said in a telephoneinterview on Thursday. "For example, I am familiar with theIndian market from my previous role... I don't have as steep alearning curve relative to the types of products needed in Indiaand the (Asia-Pacific) market in general."

Bierzynski had been executive director of GM'selectric-vehicle strategy for China since June 2011. From 2004through 2009, Bierzynski was in Shanghai, first as president ofGM's Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center and later as vicepresident in charge of engineering for GM Asia Pacific.

During the first nine months of 2012, GM's overall sales inChina increased 10 percent from a year earlier to 2.08 millionvehicles, of which 1.07 million vehicles came from sales byWuling.

(Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu; editing by Carol Bishopric)