NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Motors (GM) celebrated completing its 500 millionth vehicle vehicle Monday but the automaker is looking ahead, not back. 

GM plans to invest $5.4 billion over the next few years to improve its production facilities in the U.S. Alan Batey, president of GM North America, said for automakers that want to be successful in today's market need to have an "incredible array of vehicles." 

That's why GM wants to keep its portfolio of vehicles fresh, and today's investments will ensure that it offers the right products to customers for many years to come, the executive said. 

Some of that $5.4 billion investment will be used at GM's Fairfax, Kansas, facility, where the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu will be produced. The Malibu, which had "such an incredible introduction" at the New York Auto Show, according to Batey, is the third of five new vehicles to be unveiled by Chevrolet in 2015. The others were the Spark and Volt models. 

GM Chart
General Motors GM data by YCharts

General Motors' recent first-quarter earnings disappointed investors, missing on revenue and earnings.

Despite competition from Ford (F), Batey remains confident in the U.S. market. As of the start of this year, the industrywide seasonally adjusted annual vehicle rate will likely top 17 million in the U.S.  

As for GM, Batey cited the company's strong month of April as a sign of positive momentum. Sales climbed 5.9% year over year. He expects May to be a good month as well.

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