UCF Global Perspectives


Venezuelan Government Seizes General Motors Auto Plant

Laura Moeller, Chastang Global Fellow

April 21, 2017

The Venezuelan government seized a General Motors factory and other company assets on Wednesday, causing significant damage to the company and its workers (AP). According to a company statement, General Motors will take “all legal actions” to defend its rights against the “illegal judicial seizure of its assets” (Reuters). The seizure came amongst violent protests against President Nicolás Maduro’s government, as well as the country’s immense foreign debt and the lowering of oil prices (NYT).

Venezuela’s deepening economic crisis has hit the auto industry hard, as currency controls have led to a shortage in raw materials (BBC). Venezuelan car companies have produced less than 3000 cars last year, compared with 172,218 vehicles in 2007; GM’s factory, located in the industrial city of Valencia, produced its last car in 2015 (AP). Other industries have been hurt in the economic crisis as well, among them food makers and pharmaceutical companies (Reuters). According to the American State Department, the Venezuelan government has seized more than 1,400 private companies in various sectors since 1998 (NYT).









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