General Motors said on Sunday it would add a third shift at its Gravataí Industrial Complex, creating 1,450 new jobs at the assembly plant and another 1,000 at supplier plants located at the facility in the south of Brazil. Another 180 jobs will be created in the new powertrain plant in Joinville.

Gravatai builds the Chevrolet Celta and Onix small cars.

“The market success of the all-new Chevrolet Onix, launched last year in October, and the start of production of another new small sedan, to be launched in late February, led us to take the decision,” said GM South America president Jaime Ardila. “We launched nine new Chevrolet models in the last 15 months in Brazil and are poised for growth.”

In 2009, GM announced a US$3bn investment in Brazil. The plan was consolidated last year to develop and launch new Chevrolet products and update and add capacity to its plants.

As part of the plan, GM spent $1bn on the Onix project to develop the new small car family and to expand capacity from 230,000 to 380,000 vehicles per year at Gravataí.

An additional $172 million was spend to build a new engine and cylinder head plant at Joinville in the state of Santa Catarina. Production recently began there.

GM announced the move just after it averted a strike at another Brazilian complex.