GM plans a new line of cars at its southern plant

GM plans a new line of cars at its southern plant

General Motors will spend BRL1.4bn/US$430m on its Gravataí plant in state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The amount is part of the BRL13bn/$4bn investment plan in Brazil from 2014 through 2019.

The company said the goal was to develop new technologies and to introduce innovative manufacturing concepts for producing new models additionally to those currently built at that plant.

Although not confirmed yet, the market expects a total renewal of the automaker's small cars platform. Departing from an architecture developed in China, successors for the Onix, Prisma, Cobalt and Spin are on the way.

A crossover is to replace the current Mexican built Tracker but production might move to Rosário, Argentina. Also planned is a pickup as the replacement for the (low selling) Montana based on the on the very old Corsa B (1993-2000).

The investments will strengthen GM's presence in the southernmost state of the country and are already attracting new suppliers to the state.

"Our focus will be on full connectivity, safety and energy efficiency. Gravataí assembly is to be a reference plant for manufacturing and quality at the current 4.0, highest level", said Carlos Zalenga, president of General Motors Mercosur.

He said the new investment would make the company ready to become a global exporter though it is constrained to the South American continent today.