The Detroit Free Press reports that General Motors would like to establish and develop a dealership network in Iraq, which is recovering from war and planning for elections. However, the report added that the automaker does not believe the country is stable enough yet and it has no timetable for expanding there, an official who oversees the region told DFP.


The DFP report said that GM sales grew 60 percent in the Middle East last year, but with Toyota Motor Corp. the reigning brand in the region, GM would like to see its double-digit growth continue and eventually include Iraq, said Maureen Kempston Darkes, GM group vice president and president of GM Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.


Darkes made the remarks, reported by the Detroit Free Press, about Iraq shortly after delivering the keynote speech at a Women’s Economic Club luncheon at the Renaissance Center.


“It’s a very difficult environment right now,” Darkes said in an interview with journalists. “It would be a logical step.”


While Darkes said it was difficult to determine the market potential in Iraq, she suggested it could be as high as 100,000 vehicles a year. Currently, GM sells some vehicles to Iraqi customers through a distributor, rather than dealerships, or through retail outlets in neighbouring countries.