General Motors redoubled its efforts in Mexico this week with two separate investments that hope to make two Mexican plants ready to produce the upcoming Chevrolet Trax compact utility vehicle and Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.

Automotive News reports that GM will invest a total of $420 million on two plants in Mexico to produce the two new models. $120 million of that investment will be in the San Luis Potosi region of Mexico on a plant that will make the Aveo/Sonic-based Chevrolet Trax crossover, which will launch at the Paris Motor Show this September and go on sale in 140 countries late this year or early next. Despite GM's global plans for the Chevrolet Trax, the little CUV isn't headed to American dealerships.

What is headed to American dealers is GM's next generation full-size pickup truck. General Motors will spend $200 million of its $420 million investment to retrofit its Silao, Mexico plant to make full-size pickups starting next year. Those pickups include the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, which are due to be replaced in 2013 with a 2014-year model.

The Silao, Mexico plant joins plants in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Flint, Michigan; and Arlington, Texas in producing the trucks and their truck-based SUV counterparts. Those American plants were the recipients of some $928 million in retooling and investments over the course of this year as General Motors readies all-new models.

Those new trucks are said to have better fuel economy thanks to a new generation of General Motors small-block engines with direct injection, an increased use of high-strength steel and light metals to decrease curb weight, and aerodynamic enhancements to reduce drag. Prototype photos released by General Motors would suggest that the next trucks have nearly completed testing, and GM claims they will "enter production in 2013."

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)