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GM to Invest $1.5 Billion in North America Factories This Year

General Motors Co., which plans to introduce about 20 new vehicles in the U.S. this year, will invest $1.5 billion in North America factories in 2013, Mark Reuss, the company’s regional president, said yesterday.

GM is replacing 70 percent of its U.S. line up over a year and a half, including 13 new Chevrolets this year. The Detroit-based automaker is displaying the redesigned Silverado pickup and Corvette sports car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The Detroit-based automaker has announced investments of more than $10.2 billion in North American factories since July 2009, Reuss said yesterday during a presentation at the Automotive World News Congress in Detroit.

Meanwhile, GM has found ways to save “thousands of dollars” in the cost of building the next generation Chevrolet Volt through a vehicle platform designed specifically for batteries, Reuss said.

“You can decrease the size of the battery pack, decrease the size of the electric motors; get equivalent range with much lower cost,” he told reporters yesterday after the presentation. Reuss declined to say when the next version of the car would come out.

The Volt was introduced in 2010. GM originally aimed to sell 60,000 Volts worldwide last year before lowering the target to 35,000. In the U.S., it sold 23,461 last year. GM hasn’t said how many it sold worldwide.

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