General Motors‘ Brazilian unit has said it is to invest US$1bn to expand operations, just days after its US parent emerged from bankruptcy protection.

GM Brazil announced it would spend 2bn reais in developing nine new models that would reach the market from 2012, and expanding a factory in the southern Rio Grande do Sul state to triple production, AFP reported.

The money would come from within Brazil: half from profits accumulated over the past few years and the rest from loans from Brazilian finance companies.

GM Brazil chief Jaime Ardila stressed that the subsidiary was not involved in the restructuring of the US parent, which left 60% of General Motors in US government hands.

“We have financial independence and also product independence” with their own design team, he said.

Vibrant sales in Brazil and China kept the group afloat as it went through its painful restructuring.

Parent woes not affecting GM Mercosur