Ford Motor Co. says it will increase funding for its Brazilian operations from $2.2 billion to $2.4 billion from 2011 to 2015.

The expenditure marks the single-largest amount the auto maker has invested in Brazil during a 5-year window in its 90-year history in the country. Ford says the increase takes its outlays in South America to $3 billion through 2015.

The bulk of the investment will be directed toward the development of a new Ford EcoSport car-based SUV, which be produced locally for both Brazilian and export markets.

The EcoSport, developed at Ford’s engineering center in Camacari, Bahia, Brazil, will be based on a B-sized platform developed in Europe that also supports the Ford Fiesta, due in the U.S. later this year.

By 2014, the platform will underpin up to 1.6 million vehicles annually worldwide, including up to five separate vehicle lines and eight body styles, Ford says.

“Developing truly global vehicles and platforms is a key part of our ‘One Ford’ plan,” CEO Alan Mulally says in a statement.

“Ford Brazil already has demonstrated its skill in creating great vehicles, and with such a strong team in place at our engineering center in Camacari, we're pleased customers from around the world will benefit from that.”

Ford does not reveal whether the EcoSport will be sold in the U.S.

The news follows an announcement yesterday by Ford that it is planning a $250 million investment to fund improvements to its Pacheco, Argentina, assembly plant for a yet-to-be announced, all-new vehicle.