The Ecuador unit of General Motors reportedly plans to invest $US9.4 million in 2004, representing a 27% increase over the amount invested last year in the Andean nation.

Patricia Lema, financial director for GM Ecuador, told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday that about 40% of the total would be used for plant and systems modernisation.

Dow Jones added that GM, which has been in Ecuador since 1926, had a 45% share in Ecuador’s car market last year and expects to export 8,500 vehicles to Colombia in 2004, a 3% rise over last year’s export volume.