Fiat Builds in Brazil Latin America’s Largest Auto Engine Maker

Fiat Brazil factory in Betim, Minas Gerais state Fiat Group is investing 250 million Brazilian reais (US$ 147 million) in the city of Campo Largo, in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba, in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. Part of the funds have been invested in the acquisition of the Tritec Motors factory, based in the city, which had ended its activities in July 2007.

The objective is to make the Campo Largo unit the largest producer of vehicle engines in Latin America, revealed Franco Ciranni, superintendent of Fiat Power Technologies (FPT).

The announcement of the acquisition of the Tritec Motors plant and of expansion of the factory was made on Wednesday (12). Apart from Ciranni, the ceremony also included the vice president of Fiat for Brazil, Valentino Rizzioli, and the governor of the state of Paraná, Roberto Requião.

The new Fiat unit in the country is going to produce engines for the domestic and foreign markets. They will be used both in vehicles made by the Italian carmaker and in those of other brands. Apart from the purchase of Tritec, funds should also be turned to the development of new engines and technologies, to the increase of productive capacity and in employee training.

With the plant in Campo Largo, Fiat group now have four engine factories in Brazil, producing 700,000 units a year. The target is to almost double production by 2010, to 1.2 million engines, said Ciranni.

"We are not just purchasing the plot of land and the industrial unit. We are going to develop new families of engines, to invest in technology, in training and in quality of our produce. The factory in Campo Largo should be the main producer of engines in Latin America and the most competitive on a global scale," stated the director at FPT.

According to the executive, in coming days a plan for reactivation of the factory should be established. The forecast is for the machines to start operating again up to the end of the year and, in early 2009, for the unit to start producing engines again. The Fiat investment schedule in the new unit forecasts the creation of 500 direct jobs. Part of the openings should be filled by employees who were fired from Tritec Motors.

This is not the first Fiat investment in Paraná. In the 1990s, the Italian multinational purchased tractor factory New Holland, installed in the Industrial City of state capital Curitiba.

Omar Nasser works for the Federation of Industries of the State of Paraná.

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