Friday, October 10, 2014

BMW starts production in Brazil

BMW officially opened yesterday the doors of its premium car factory in Northern Santa Catarina in an event marked by a moment of defiance-when a Group Director reminded the authorities present bureaucratic saga faced by the enterprise-and speeches of Ministers of the federal Government, to celebrate the "social transformation" of the country in recent years, gave tom the electoral ceremony.
German automaker executives also took advantage of the event to strengthen Brazilian market growth expectations, though in more moderate pace in the coming years, and spoke for the first time the possibility of transforming Brazil into export platform of the group, although in the distant future.
BMW's investments to produce in Araquari, town about 20 miles from Joinville, more than $ 600 million, predict the creation of 1.3 thousand jobs-vacancies created in the automaker only between until 2016-and inject on idle Brazilian auto industry already installed capacity of 32 thousand cars per year.
The commercial-scale production had already started on September 30, with the 3-Series Sedan equipped with bi-fuel engine, propulsion technology dominant in Brazil. Next month a SUV, the X 1, added to the line, which until the end of next year will also have the company of other three models: a hatch 1-series, the x 3 (another SUV) and, finally, the Mini Cooper Countryman version.
When talking about the challenge of installing in Brazil the first production line of BMW cars in South America, the Group Vice President responsible for the factory, Gerald Degen, exhibited to an audience formed by public authorities, employees, dealers and journalists a slide with all the paperwork of licenses for which the enterprise had to pass to open the doors yesterday. In total, the project was subjected to about 150 different types of licenses for organs such as Funai, Ibama and ANTT.
The "nip" of the German Executive plucked some expressions of astonishment, but had a ready response from the Minister of labour, Manoel Dias. "The Ministry of labour, 90% of these documents there will be no more until the end of the year because they are being scanned", said the head of the folder when you had the opportunity to speak.
Despite the inauguration ceremony, the industrial park of BMW it will take another year to complete. The sectors of painting and BodyWorks arming should only be ready in September 2015. For now, only the Assembly line is in operation, fueled by Germany's truck and auto parts imported from international network of suppliers of the multinational.
The level of nationalization of cars is low. In Series 3, neither tire is national. The exceptions are the seats of the car and a play or other suspension systems, propulsion and transmission supplied by local manufacturers.
Arturo Piñeiro, the automaker's President in Brazil, assured, however, that the factory will meet the demands of new automotive regime placed nationalization, more flexible premium brands such as BMW, given the higher level of technology employed in these cars without domestic production.
The Executive added that export cars from Santa Catarina is also in the plans, depending on the competitiveness of the new factory. But it's a long-term project because the automaker, among other things, will have to achieve minimum levels of local parts to be entitled to access to the markets of Brazil's trading partners, such as MERCOSUR. "Export will depend on the economy and the speed at which we can move forward in the nationalization of cars. Until 2018 or 2020, our vocation will be producing to the Brazilian market, "commented Piñeiro.
BMW President told reporters that the consumption of luxury cars has lost pace in recent months due to the uncertainties about the direction of the economy, aggravated by the election period. Careful time to acquire vehicles that cost more than $ 100,000, customers are postponing buying decision, said the Executive, who reaffirmed, however, that the prices of BMW's cars don't fall out with local production. He believes that the premium market in Brazil can take longer to double in size and reach the mark of 100 thousand cars, before scheduled for 2018.
A volume that four years ago it was past 3 thousand units, the BMW Group including Mini brand, closed 2013 with sales of 17.5 thousand cars and expects to surpass the level of 18 million vehicles in 2014.
To participate in the inauguration ceremony of the factory, the Minister Ideli Salvatti, Human Rights, seen in numbers the "unequivocal evidence" that the Government promoted social inclusion, without forgetting to give the development conditions of all social classes, including the wealthiest who consume German brand cars. "Companies like BMW do not invest in a country on the brink of collapse," he said. Mauro Borges, Development Minister, agreed. "We are a country of great social transformations and also a country of the future".
The reporter travelled at the invitation of BMW
Valor Econômico - 10/10/2014
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