BEIJING -- Philip Murtaugh, the former chairman and CEO of GM China Group, has been named executive vice president in charge of international operations at Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Co. Murtaugh resigned from GM on May 1, 2005.
SAIC Motor Co. holds all of SAIC's transportation assets. That includes SAIC Motor Manufacturing Co., the subsidiary charged with developing an SAIC-brand car, as well as its automaking joint ventures with Volkswagen AG and GM, and more than 50 components companies.
By hiring Murtaugh, whose is widely acclaimed as the architect of GM's success in China, SAIC gains something it sorely lacks -- a top executive with extensive international experience.
By 2010, SAIC aims to assemble 200,000 units of its own brand cars, and export 50,000. It will continue to partner with Volkswagen and GM, as well.
SAIC set up a $460 million unit in February to make its own model of car. It acquired some of the technology by purchasing assets from failed British carmaker MG Rover.
But a consultant in Shanghai with an international consulting firm said Murtaugh would have a hard time making an impact at SAIC, which is owned by the Shanghai government.
"I think (Murtaugh) has the required set of skills, but the main challenge for him will be how much independence he really has because SAIC can be quite a bureaucratic organization," said the consultant.
Murtaugh declined to comment on his new job.
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