General Motors do Brasil is finding success in an intensive campaign to seek new markets, increasing its exports 33.7% in the year's first half, while slowing production to meet falling local demand.

Brazil's economy this year has been severely impacted by an ongoing energy crisis, increased inflation, a currency devaluation and fallout from neighboring Argentina's economic crisis.

Jose Carlos Pinheiro Neto, vice president of GM do Brasil, says exports rose to $419.9 million in the first six months from $314 million in like period 2000. GM's imports, however, declined 0.3% in the period, from $294.9 million last year to $293.9 million.

The Brazilian subsidiary recently signed a 10-year $1 billion contract with China and now plans to tackle the Indian market. The bulk of the automaker's exports is in the complete-knocked-down segment, representing 80% of its trade abroad.

Another growing segment is the export of automotive engineering services, from $110 million in 2000 to $140 million estimated for this year.