This week, GM Authority reported that General Motors resumed its manufacturing investment plan for the 2020-2024 period in Brazil, which the company had frozen in 2020 with the arrival of COVID-19. Although the manufacturer did not disclose details about the future vehicles that will emerge from the new investment cycle, sources familiar with the matter say that the plan supports four next-generation Chevrolet models developed by GM South America.
During a recent press conference, GM South America President Carlos Zarlenga stated that this investment of 10 billion reais (about $1.9 billion USD at the current exchange rate) is mainly destined to the development and production of several next-generation vehicles that will come out of the São Caetano do Sul and São José dos Campos plants, both in the Brazilian state of São Paulo.
The first part of this new investment cycle will be aimed at consolidating and expanding the successful GEM Project, a new family of Chevy vehicles for emerging markets led by the second-generation Chevrolet Onix and the all-new Chevrolet Tracker. This project is supported by the new Global Emerging Market (GEM) platform, which will serve as the basis for two other “unannounced vehicles” to be manufactured at the São Caetano plant.
Since the end of 2018, GM South America has been working on these next two members of the GEM family who will share many elements with each other. The first of these is the imminent compact pickup truck that we exclusively previewed in December 2018, which will serve as an indirect replacement for the aging Chevrolet Montana, with a larger body and a double cab variant. This future Chevy pickup is expected to hit the market within the next year.
In addition to the replacement for the Montana, the company is preparing a compact crossover with three rows of seats that will succeed the current Chevrolet Spin that GM Authority reported on in July 2019. According to our sources, both vehicles are being developed exclusively by GM South America engineers with the GEM platform’s long-wheelbase variant, unlike the Chevrolet Onix and Tracker that were engineered with the collaboration of a team from China.
Finally, the recently confirmed investment plan includes a significant outlay for the next-generation Chevrolet S10 and its SUV derivative, known internationally since 2012 as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer. The vehicles will continue to be manufactured at the São José plant, with a comprehensive update that will encompass platform and design, sharing more elements with the future Chevrolet Colorado scheduled for the 2023 calendar year.