General Motors plans to invest $450 million to expand its Rosario Automotive Complex in Argentina, the automaker’s CEO Dan Akerson announced on Wednesday. The investment, which will be made between 2013 and 2015, is in an effort to build an all-new global Chevy vehicle at the facility for the local and export markets.
The model, the specifics of which have not yet been announced, will utilize a global vehicle architecture and will be produced side-by-side with existing models made at the Rosario complex in Argentina, where GM produced more than 136,000 vehicles — a record for the operation.
“This new model to be based on a global platform will run in addition to the models we are currently manufacturing in our plant and will allow us to supply the regional and domestic market with even more high-quality, high value Chevrolet products,” said GM Argentina President Isela Costantini. “It is a huge vote of confidence for the entire GM Argentina team and the country.”
One of the export destinations for the new car is likely to be Brazil — the largest new-vehicle market in South America and a strong automotive trading partner with Argentina. Coincidentally, General Motors is the largest volume exporter of cars to Brazil from Argentina, having operated in the country since 1925. The automaker, however, withdrew its Argentina-based operations between 1978 and 1985 due to a sharp decrease in sales.
Brazil is also the fourth-largest automotive market globally; recently, it has experienced troubles in part due to the European economic downturn. However, most analysts believe that Brazil’s slump is temporary in nature, and that the country’s economy will resume growing in 2013.