Agrale, a Brazilian maker of trucks, light chassis, motorcycles, tractors and engines has just hired an executive whose mission is to increase exports to the Middle East and Africa.
This year the company has already exported 30 MT 12 SB model chassis to Lebanon, equipped with technology specially developed for buses that operate in places with high temperatures.
“We have been receiving various enquiries and many negotiations are under way (with the Arab countries). We are after greater development of this market,” stated the company export manager, Edson Martins.
According to him, exports to the Arab countries began in 2001, when the company shipped 70 chassis of the model MA 8.5 TCA to Kuwait, also with technology specially developed for vehicles that operate in places with high temperatures. In 2002, another 73 chassis of the same model and with the same technology were shipped.
“Replacement parts and special tools for use with these products are also traded regularly, after the sale of the products,” stated Martins. The main markets for Agrale products, however, are the countries in Latin America, where the company has a distribution chain.
Agrale ended 2004 with growth of 45% over 2003. Company revenues reached US$ 169 million, against US$ 119 million registered in the previous year, in current figures.
In 2005, the company from the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul hopes to grow around 10%, mainly based on growth in sales of products released at the end of 2004, like trucks and chassis with electronic engine components (E-tronic line) and military jeep Agrale Marruá, which has limited production.
Just 100 units of the jeep were produced, and they will be traded by a chain of authorized dealerships. According to Martins, the objective is to give adventure lovers the chance of having a military concept vehicle. The vehicle maker invested US$ 4.3 million in development of the jeep’s project and in the construction of a new assembly line.
In the tractor sector, Agrale released models BX 6.110, 4230 Cargo, 4118.4, and the 5085.4 Arrozeiro. In the line of trucks, the novelties are the Agrale 8500 with a new cabin. In the chassis line, the company maintained the lead in the domestic market in the light segment and the third position among all kinds of chassis.
In November, there was the release of a new line of products, with special attention to the Midibus chassis for 12 tonnes of gross vehicle weight, developed for short and medium length urban and highway applications.
The company also bets on the increase in sales on the foreign market. In 2004, export revenues reached US$ 20 million, an increase of 23%.
Different from most vehicle manufacturers established in Brazil, which belong to multinational companies, the Agrale capital is entirely Brazilian.
Based in the city of Caxias do Sul, in Rio Grande do Sul, the company is the national leader in production of chassis for mini and microbuses (since 1998), tractors of up to 40 horsepower and small size diesel engines.
With 38 years of history, the company belongs to the Francisco Stedile group, which also includes companies Lavrale, Fazenda Três Rios, Germani Alimentos and Agritech (Yanmar tractors). Last year the group had revenues of US$ 259 million.
The company has four small industries in Brazil. In 2002, Agrale started operating its first production unit outside Brazil, Colombia Unit, turned to the production of trucks and chassis for microbuses, installed in the city of Bogotá.
Ever since the company started its activities, 338,000 diesel engines, 64,000 tractors, 100,000 motorcycles and scooters and 34,000 trucks and chassis have already been produced.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency