GM wants to double car output in Venezuela - Chavez

CARACAS Wed Aug 1, 2012 9:47pm EDT

CARACAS Aug 1 (Reuters) - U.S. automaker General Motors Co wants to more than double its production of cars and auto parts in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez said on Wednesday.

Hailing it as one of the first examples of benefits from Venezuela joining the Mercosur regional trade bloc on Tuesday, Chavez said he was presented with a plan by senior GM executives while he was in Brazil for the ceremony.

Asked to provide journalists with the details, Venezuela's Industry Minister Ricardo Menendez said GM planned to increase its production of cars in the country to 120,000 units per year, up from almost 50,000 now.

Menendez said the company also planned to increase its production of auto parts, for Venezuela's domestic market and for export to neighboring Brazil and the Caribbean.

Chavez added that French automaker Renault had also expressed an interest in building cars in the South American nation. The socialist president gave no other details.

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