General Motors Brazil will build a new engine and components plant in Joinville City, Santa Catarina State.

The new plant will require investments of approximately US$200m and is scheduled to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2009 - only 19 months from the announcement. It will employ 500 people and is expected to generate 1,300 indirect jobs.

The facility will be approximately 500,000 square metres with the plant itself comprising an area of approximately 60,000 square metres. The plant will have the capability to produce 120,000 engines and 50,000 cylinder heads per year and, when at full capacity, it will operate on three shifts.

The plant will include some of the most advanced processes in the area of engine machining and assembly, and cylinder head manufacturing. The machining process incorporates flexible machines with control systems that provide for rapid production changes to volume, technical changes and product improvements.

In addition, the sophisticated engine test system enables operators to test engines without using fuel. As a result, the electrically-powered system essentially eliminates the generation of contaminants inside the plant.

"The decision to build a new engine plant in Brazil is essential to our ability to expand vehicle production capacity throughout the Mercosul region," said Jaime Ardila, president of General Motors Brazil and Mercosul.

GM Brazil vice president José Carlos Pinheiro Neto added: "The plant is part of GM Brazil's strategy to place facilities in the most advantageous locations and Joinville City provides a fantastic infrastructure and has highly skilled labour."