General Motors is predicting Brazil will lead a South American sales growth of about 10 percent in 2001, Bloomberg News reported.

Brazilian car sales probably will grow up between 10 and 11 percent compared with last year, Walter Wieland, president and managing director of GM's Brazilian unit, told Bloomberg.

GM's South American business, which accounts for about three percent of the company's sales, posted a profit of $US6 million in the first quarter of this year, up from $US1 million a year earlier.

A growing economy in Brazil should help the region to contribute more to revenue, Fritz Henderson, president of the company's unit for Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, told the news organisation.

Bloomberg said that GM first quarter sales rose 14 percent from the year earlier period to 125,948 units, the company's best quarterly performance in the region for two-and-a-half years.

Exports, which should rise to above $1 billion from about $700 million in 2000, will help boost GM's Brazilian business, said Wieland.

The company sees an opportunity to sell more cars to Mexico as demand suffers in Argentina.

Venezuela also could be a strong market for sales this year for GM which sells Brazilian-made Corsa subcompacts there, Henderson told Bloomberg.

The company is employing more staff to meet increased demand. It will employ another 700 people on a second shift starting shortly at its factory in Rio Grande do Sul state making Celta subcompacts, said Wieland.


To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

Global Car Forecasts to 2005

Mercosur's Automotive Industry - Challenges and prospects to 2005


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