General Motors Co [GM.UL] will end a three-month stoppage at its Venezuela plants next week after reaching an agreement with the government of President Hugo Chavez to free up foreign currency to import parts.
GM suspended operations at its two Venezuelan plants in June, citing debts of $1.2 billion with overseas suppliers.
We had several currency, labor and permit problems, GM's Venezuela President, Rolando Znidarsis, told Reuters. With the government's commitment to give us a payment schedule, we are capable of restarting operations on Monday.
Znidarsis said General Motors, which saw large increases in its Venezuelan sales until 2007, will begin to build a new family car for the Venezuelan market at its Valencia plant in October.
Car sales dropped sharply this year after several companies halted or slowed production in response to labor problems and a government squeeze on dollar sales amid falling oil income in the OPEC nation.
Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) and Hyundai Motor Co's (005380.KS) assembler in the country, Sojitz Corp (2768.T) suspended operations at its plant in August after months of labor troubles. Two workers at the plant were killed in clashes with police in January and output has almost halved since then, despite a doubling of workers.
The government is trying to persuade Sojitz to reopen.
Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said in March it might leave the country because of chronic labor problems. A union leader representing Toyota workers was shot to death weeks later.
GM also closed its Venezuela operations for two months in 2008. (Reporting by Eyanir Chinea; editing by Andre Grenon))