SAO PAULO (Reuters) -General Motors is set to invest 7 billion reais ($1.42 billion) in Brazil between this year and 2028, the company said on Wednesday, in a bid to boost “sustainable mobility”.
The sum will fund a “complete renewal” of the automaker’s vehicle portfolio in Latin America’s largest economy and will help develop technologies and create new businesses, GM said in a statement.
The automaker did not provide a forecast for when it will start producing electric and hybrid vehicles in the country. GM said that this decision will be taken depending on the evolution of the local market.
The announcement represents a victory for President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has been focusing efforts on reigniting Brazil’s domestic industry.
Lula welcomed the news, saying the investment will have a significant impact on development and social inclusion.
GM’s bet is part of the first phase of what it called a new investment cycle in Brazil, which aims to “strengthen the company’s competitiveness and the sustainability of its operations and products.”
The plan comes a few months after workers at its factories in Sao Paulo state went on strike, protesting against layoffs of 1,245 employees – cuts which were later reversed after a court decision.
GM’s vice president for South America, Fabio Rua, said the layoffs had been made at a “specific juncture” last year, but its long-term vision in Brazil “is one of growth, of continuing to employ”.
GM did not provide further details on the investment, but earlier this month, the company said it intended to launch six vehicle models in Brazil this year, with the first being the redesigned Spin seven-seater minivan.
($1 = 4.9222 reais)
(Reporting by Peter Frontini and Bernardo Caram; Editing by Brendan O’Boyle and David Evans)