Marcopolo, the Brazilian bus and bus body maker, wants to invest 50 million reais (US$ 30.1 million) in its domestic production units by the month of October. The funds are to be spent on two of the company's plants in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (South Brazil) and in one in the state of Rio de Janeiro (Southeast).
Investment began late last year, and the aim is to improve production level and quality at the units, in order to cater to the growing demand. Built areas will be expanded, new painting booths will be implemented, new assembly line equipment will be purchased and manufacturing processes will be automated.
Purchases of modern equipment should account for half the funds. At the Ana Rech unit alone, located in the city of Caxias do Sul, in Rio Grande do Sul, more than 30 million reais (US$ 18 million) are being spent on factory expansion and modernization.
Work already finished includes the construction of new buildings for technical support and final product quality inspection, which analyses 100% of the buses manufactured in order to ensure the quality of the final product.
The factory in Planalto, also in Caxias do Sul, which manufactures the Senior microbus and the Volare minibus, had its assembly-line layout changed for better use of physical space, and it also received new, sophisticated equipment for component manufacturing. As of this month, production capacity should rise to 25 units per day.
The unit in the state of Rio de Janeiro is going to receive more than 10 million reais (US$ 6 million) in investment. A new painting area will be built, including modern spray booths, as well as new equipment featuring state-of-the-art technology. This will enable greater production quality and should lead capacity to increase from 18 to 25 buses per day.
Marcopolo aims to make approximately 15,000 buses in its three Brazilian units this year, from which it exports vehicles to the Arab countries. Worldwide production should reach 20,000 units.
Founded in 1949 in the city of Caxias do Sul, in the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Marcopolo S.A. produces over half of the bus bodies made in Brazil.
The company also owns two factories in Russia, and one in each of the following countries: Argentina, South Africa, Colombia, India, Mexico and Portugal.