General Motors do Brasil will invest $US1 billion over the next few years to launch new models and modernise factories, writes Rogério Louro Alves.

This investment is part of the car maker#;s plan to concentrate on compact and medium cars which will start this year with four new models.

GM will launch new generation Chevrolet (Opel) Corsa hatchback and South American-developed sedan models in March, building both in its São José dos Campos plant, in São Paulo state. In the second half of the year the plant will build a new Corsa-based van.

GM will invest $US350 million alone at São José dos Campos to build the new models.

GM will also launch a five-door Celta in the second half of the year. The Brazil-exclusive compact has so far been sold only in three-door form and the five-door will be built alongside those versions in Gravataí, Rio Grande do Sul state.