Sunday, 16 August 2009


Mr Steve Koch who is currently the President and Managing Director of General Motors South Africa and African Operations is to take an early retirement package offered by the company at the end of September 2009. Koch has been in his position since July 2007. He came in right at the end of the automotive boom in the country and was properly introduced to the market when the situation was turning dire. Nevertheless he was able to steer the GM ship toward the right direction.

No stranger to the company, Koch began working for the General in 1969 when he was still a student. Later he obtained his BSc in industrial administration, followed by an MBA from Harvard in 1976.

Having met and interacted with Koch on a number of occasions I formed the opinion of a man who is, while focused and strong, also has a very playful and fun side. He seemed to be genuinely interested in gaining insights into the ever-growing “black” market in South Africa, a market that now represents the bigger slice of overall sales than any other. Because I have been working in this market for the past 10 years I could impart some experience and knowledge to him that perhaps some of his own executives could not, and he seemed quite appreciative of this.

Koch and his wife were quite happy in South Africa and I hope they go back home to the US with a great impression of the country. I also hope to see them in less than a year’s time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.