After a successful 2019 calendar year in the Brazilian market, General Motors is celebrating 95 years of activities in Brazil. The company’s South American subsidiary begins the new decade with a solid commercial positioning, most of its facilities having been modernized and ready to begin a new development cycle.
Founded in early 1925, GM do Brazil is the largest automotive company in all of South America and the second-largest subsidiary that the company owns outside the United States – behind its operations in China. Unlike other markets, GM only manufactures and markets Chevrolet vehicles in Brazil, which recently became the brand’s second largest market again.
In 2019, GM completed an important investment schedule to renovate its facilities and Chevrolet’s portfolio in Brazil. In this sense, the company expanded the product development center in Indaiatuba, and transformed the GM Joinville engine factory and GM Gravataí plant to industry 4.0 standards. In addition, the renovation of the GM São Caetano do Sul plant to manufacture the all-new Chevrolet Tracker was also recently completed.
To celebrate its 95th anniversary this year, GM will begin a new round of investments in Brazil. In total, R$10 billion (about $2.3 billion USD) will go to the factories of São Caetano do Sul and São José dos Campos through 2024. The funds will be used in the development of innovative technologies and in the production of future vehicles in both plants of the State of São Paulo, to mainly supply the South American markets.
In addition to the previous R$13 billion plan (2014-2019), with this new contribution between 2020 and 2024, GM will complete a massive investment of R$23 billion (about $5.3 billion USD). This is the largest amount of money a company will have contributed in the entire history of the Brazilian automotive industry for a single decade, which will support several next-generation vehicles that are under development.
Since the first Chevrolet model was built in a São Paulo warehouse in 1925, GM has sold more than 15 million vehicles in Brazil. The company’s first local passenger car was the Chevrolet Opala (1968), which ended its life cycle after 24 years and more than 1 million units sold. Other successful Chevy models in the country are the Chevette, D20, Monza, Kadett, Corsa, Vectra, Omega and Astra.