The local General Motors unit has finally announced the name of the sedan version of the unique-to-Brazil Celta range - Prisma - but is still keeping details and the car itself under wraps.

It also revealed that the Prisma will be a compact car but not a "popular" model. In Brazil that means the small sedan will not be offered with a one-litre engine.

Built in the Gravataí plant, in Rio Grande do Sul state, which previously built only the Celta hatchback model, the Prisma will be launched here at the end of the year.

To develop the new car and enlarge the Gravataí factory to make it, GM spent $US240m. Plant production capacity is increasing from 120,000 units a year to 210,000 by the end of 2007.

The Prisma will be the second model in the Brazilian-developed and designed Celta range. The line is based on the previous generation Opel Corsa (introduced in 1993). The Celta appeared first in 2000 and has been offered in three- and five-door versions.

Last April GM has updated the hatchback with a new nose and detail changes to the rear styling and interior.

The Celta hatchback was the fourth best-selling vehicle in Brazil in the first half of this year with about 9,000 units sold per month. The leading Volkswagen Gol sold 14,300 units monthly.

Rogério Louro