General Motors Europe's EUR550m investment in its Spanish plant in Zaragoza to build the redesigned Corsa included new press and paint shops.

GM Espana has extensively modernised the factory for the new model. A new stamping station with two large presses forges high-tensile sheet steel at up to 40 times a minute, operating at a pressure of 3000 tons.

In the new paint shop, the body in white is electrically coated with a zinc-manganese-nickel protective coating in an immersion bath. The paint shop has a special cleaning system that uses a method termed molecular sieve filtration to prevent CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.

The plant in Spain's Aragon region has a workforce of 7,600 and annual capacity of around 400,000 vehicles. It is GM's largest European production facility and has built the Corsa since it opened in 1982. It also builds the Meriva minivan.

New Corsa Job One is due off the assembly line next Monday, 31 July.

Manufacturing experts at the plant worked closely with GM's International Technical Development Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany, to define every manufacturing step involved in building the Corsa in both Zaragoza and Eisenach, Germany.

Innovations include ultrasound machines to test the body weld points, robots to install windscreens and rear windows, and new testing systems for wheel alignment and headlamp adjustment.

The updated plant will also build the Corsa Combo van derivative after GM's Portugese plant closes in December.

Zaragosa currently supplies parts for the Portugese-built models.