General Motor’s Venezuelan subsidiary is to invest $US30 million in 2001 to assemble 20 percent more vehicles than last year, said president Mike Nylin quoted in the El Nacional newspaper. GM is also planning to introduce six new models in October, the Thursday report said.

GM was No. 1 in Venezuela last year, with sales of 28,654 in a total industry count of 145,306.

The local automobile industry chamber told El Nacional that the Opel-designed Corsa accounted for over half the sales, under the government-backed ‘People’s Car’ initiative.

Under this programme, cars cost around 20 percent less due mostly to the removal of 14.5 per cent value added tax and reduced manufacturer profit margins.