One more foreign company is going to start producing cars in Brazil. It is the Indian Mahindra, which brought to the 24th International Automobile Trade Show, which began yesterday, October 19, in São Paulo, the two models of pickups and utility sports vehicle to be produced in the Industrial District of Manaus, in Amazonas, northern Brazil.
The initial focus will be the domestic market, but the company sees the possibility of the country becoming an export platform in future.
"This possibility exists, after the consolidation of operations in Brazil," said Francisco Oliveira Neto, the commercial director at Bramont, the Indian industry’s Brazilian partner.
"There is potential for export, but first of all we are going to look at the local market," added Sajeev Mohoni, vice president of the automotive division at Mahindra.
In all, US$ 14 million are being invested in the business, all Bramont funds, according to Oliveira. "Mahindra is going to participate with the technology, technical support and engineering services," he said.
He forecasts, at the beginning of operations, that the cars should have 20% national products. "Mahindra is a global company, which works with international suppliers, many of which are present in Brazil," he added.
The factory, according to Oliveira, will be ready in November and should employ 120 people. Sales, however, should only begin between March and April 2007. The plant will cover an area of 20,000 square meters of built area and will have a production capacity of 350 vehicles a month. "We may have good participation in the Brazilian market, as both of our countries have similar rates of development," stated Mohoni.
In Brazil, cars made under the Indian brand will be "entry" models into the sports utilitarian sector. With prices ranging from US$ 34,000 to US$ 40,000, they will be cheaper than similar North American, Japanese and European vehicles. In 12 months, Bramont hopes to have at least 25 registered dealers throughout the country.
Although action on the foreign market is recent, having started only two years ago, Mahindra is growing abroad. Apart from the seven factories the company has in its country of origin, it also has industrial units in Uruguay, the United States and China and is negotiating the opening of a new factory in Malaysia.
The plants in the United States and China produce tractors and the one in Uruguay produces a cheaper pick-up truck than the ones to be made in Brazil.
In India, the company produces around 160,000 cars a year. Apart from the domestic market, the company also supplies other markets in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
The company is also licensed to produce some 50,000 units per year of the Renault Logan. Mahindra was established in 1945 and started its operations producing the ancient Willis jeep. The organization currently has revenues of US$ 3.3 billion a year.
Bramont, in turn, is part of a totally Brazilian group that operates in various sectors, like auto parts, transport and foreign trade. The company currently assembles Chinese Garini motorcycles, also in the Manaus Free Zone. Operations began with the production of the Cross Lander jeep, of Romanian origin.
Anba – www.anba.com.br