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Automakers in Brazil Gradually Resume Industrial Operations

An article written by Sueli Reis of Automotive Business – Brazil on April 24 presents a list of automotive OEMs and their intentions to return to production some partially, some to the same schedule prior to the plant shutting down at the beginning of the pandemic.


According to the article, which was published in Portuguese, this will not be a return like any other in the history of the sector, and there is much to do and plan, considering the new reality. Factories plan to take preventive measures to preserve the health of employees; the same goes for offices and other administrative areas. On the other hand, they will also resume industrial activities at a still-slow pace as a way to realign production processes with new distancing actions, new routines, and predetermined pathways. This new reduced level of activities also reflects the volume of parts that the plants still have in their inventory. The new ramped-up speed of the industry will also be dictated by the response that the supply chain will be able to provide and by market demand, which is at its lowest level since the auto industry settled in the country.


AGCO: Production resumed on April 14 after 10 days of production stoppage in the factories of the southern region and Mogi das Cruzes (SP). The parts distribution center in Jundiaí (SP) had not stopped working.


AGRALE: Operations resumed on April 13 after stopping on April 1 at the three factories in Caxias do Sul (RS), where activities had been reduced since March 23.


BMW: Return to the Araquari (SC) plant is scheduled for May 4; the unit has been shut down since March 30 through collective vacation. The motorcycle factory in Manaus (AM), which has been idle since March 30, resumes activities on May 4.


CAOA CHERY/HYUNDAI: The Jacareí (SP) plant has been idle since April 1 through layoff, and according to the local union, there is still no forecast for the return of operations. The Anápolis (GO) unit, which stopped on March 23, also continues its stoppage with production halted indefinitely.

CNH INDUSTRIAL: The group that integrates Case, New Holland, Iveco, and FPT has been gradually resuming operations since the week of April 13 for the agricultural and construction machinery factories and since the week of April 22 for the plants of trucks, buses, and engines. The units in Contagem (MG), Curitiba (PR), Piracicaba (SP), Sorocaba (SP), Sete Lagoas (MG), and Córdoba in Argentina, have been idle since March 27.


FCA FIAT CHRYSLER: The company plans to gradually resume production on May 4 at their operations in Betim (MG), Goiana (PE), and Campo Largo (PR). Production at these units has been stopped since March 27. Almost all workers in the administrative area will maintain working from home indefinitely.


FORD: All of the company's factories in South America halted production on March 23. Their return was scheduled for April 13 at the Brazilian units of Camaçari (BA), Taubaté (SP), and Troller in Horizonte (CE) and for April 6 at the Argentine plant of General Pacheco.


GENERAL MOTORS: The company has adopted a layoff of workers at all its factories in Brazil, a measure that has an initial duration of two months and may be extended or canceled. The workers were on collective vacation since March 20 at the Gravataí factory (RS), April 23 at the plants of Joinville (SC), São Caetano do Sul, Mogi das Cruzes, and the proving ground in Indaiatuba (SP), and since March 24 at the plant in São José dos Campos (SP).


HYUNDAI: The manufacturer decided to extend the downtime of its Piracicaba (SP) plant, where the HB20 and Crete models are manufactured. The return to activities is scheduled for May 27; previously, the resumption of production was scheduled for April 13. The company also decided to adopt government regulation MP 936, which allows the flexibility of employment contracts; employment contracts will be suspended (layoff) for the period from April 27 to May 26 without reduction of wages. The agreement is valid for employees of the factory and offices that are located in the city of São Paulo for a duration of 30 days and may be extended for another month.


HPE MITSUBISHI/SUZUKI: The Catalan (GO) plant has been idle since March 23 for collective vacation. The measure is valid for 60 days, until May 23. Teams from administrative areas have been working from home since March 20.


HONDA: The automaker decided to extend the suspension period of its operations at the two plants in Brazil, in Sumaré and Itirapina (SP), until June 25. The two units have been idle since March 25. The automaker also joined the MP 936 regulation and chose to suspend labor contracts for 60 days with a minimum reduction in wages. The motorcycle factory in Manaus (AM), Motos Honda, has been idle since March 27, and production is scheduled to resume on May 4.


JAGUAR LAND ROVER: The company's only plant in Latin America, located in Itatiaia (RJ), intends to resume operations on April 27 after 30 days of interruption. The administrative areas have been working from home since March 16.


MERCEDES-BENZ: The company plans to gradually resume operations on May 4 at the São Bernardo do Campo (SP) plant with reduced hours and reduced salaries for all areas. The unit has been idle since March 23.


NISSAN: The Resende (RJ) unit will resume operations on May 21 with reduced hours and salaries. The stoppage started on March 25.


PSA PEUGEOT CITROËN: The resumption of work for the plant in Porto Real (RJ) is scheduled for May 31, though the date is subject to reevaluation. The unit stopped production on March 23.

RENAULT: The Ayrton Senna industrial complex, located in São José dos Pinhais (PR) in the metropolitan region of Curitiba, resumes operations on May 4. The collective vacation was set from March 23 to May 3.


SCANIA: The truck and bus factory in São Bernardo do Campo (SP) will gradually resume operations after April 27. The unit has been idle since March 30 in a collective vacation period.


TOYOTA: Brazilian factories in São Bernardo do Campo, Indaiatuba, and Porto Feliz will resume operations on June 22, while the Sorocaba plant resumes operations on June 24. All units are located in the state of São Paulo.

VOLKSWAGEN: The automaker anticipates the return of some of its factories in South America between the end of April and early May for the factories of São Carlos (SP) and Córdoba, Argentina. For other units, the resumption should be mid-May.


VOLKSWAGEN TRUCKS AND BUSES: The manufacturer of Resende (RJ) gradually resumed its operations on April 27.


VOLVO: The Curitiba (PR) manufacturing plant, where trucks, buses, engines and transmissions are made, intends to return to industrial operations in early May. The collective vacation began on March 30 and runs until April 30.

Compiled and translated by Mario Winterstein, IBDGi

April 27, 2020