General Motors will next week enter the Brazilian small SUV market with the Chevrolet Tracker, writes Rogério Louro Alves.

The new Chevrolet is a re-badged Suzuki Grand Vitara and is built alongside that model in GM's Rosario plant, in Argentina. The plant also produces the previous-generation Opel Corsa which is sold as a Chevrolet in South America.

General Motors of Brazil expects to sell 300 Trackers a month for a 30 percent share of the small SUV sector.

The Argentinean-made Grand Vitara was launched in Brazil last year and the arrival of the Tracker twin marks the first time that a Suzuki model has been sold under both the Chevrolet and Suzuki brands in the south American country. The two companies also compete with each other with virtually identical small SUVs in North America and Canada.

To produce the Grand Vitara and Tracker locally, Suzuki bought two percent of General Motors of Argentina in 1999. This was the first time that Suzuki, 10 percent owned by GM, had bought a share of a GM affiliate.

The two companies also have an equal share of the Canadian CAMI factory that produces the Tracker and Grand Vitara.


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