Caoa announces Ford factory purchase to expand production
Unit was decommissioned by Ford about five months after company strategic decision
After shutting down truck production and shutting down the production of the Fiesta compact in Sao Bernardo, Ford did not hide the desire to sell the unit’s operations to another company. After months of negotiation, the Caoa group will announce the purchase of the factory for an estimated $ 1 billion. The announcement will be made at 3 pm at an event at the Bandeirantes Palace with the participation of Governor João Doria and the mayor of São Bernardo, Orlando Morando (both from PSDB). The Metalworkers Union even anticipated the acquisition yesterday, 2, through social networks.
Ford’s factory will be handled by Caoa, a 100% Brazilian company, which will make the acquisition and should keep part of the 500 employees who are still linked to the North American brand. So far, about 750 people have been laid off.
In contact with Ford and the Caoa group, the R7 has received no response as to the details of this deal so far.
However, Orlando Morando said in an interview with Rádio Jovem Pan that the acquisition will not have participation of Chinese, partners of Caoa Chery brand. Still, the automaker’s plans, according to the mayor, is to use the site for the assembly of trucks and cars that are now developed in China and manufactured in Jacarei and Anapolis.
Made in Saint Bernard
Regardless of the flag, it is certain that the ABC unit is located in a strategic position that can expand the presence of the Caoa group, either with Chery or Hyundai.
With growth that reached 276% in the first half of this year, the Caoa-Chery brand is the eye of the group with 8,516 units sold in the domestic market. In Jacareí / SP the company manufactures Arrizo 5 and Tiggo 2 and in Anápolis / GO maintains the production line of Tiggo 5X and Tiggo 7 alongside Hyundai ix35 and New Tucson in addition to HR and HD80 trucks.
With a larger factory near highways and the Port of Santos, Caoa can expand its presence in the utility segment, grow with the Chery line and also build electric vehicles that are in the group’s plans.
The Ford factory has been in existence since 1952 and was initially built by Willys Overland to manufacture the Jeep Willys and cars like the Renault Dauphine, Gordini and Interlagos, all licensed, as well as Itamaraty and the Rural Family Utility and its pickup version.
In 1967, in financial distress, Ford acquired Willys and its operations in Sao Bernardo do Campo, inheriting the Corcel project (derived from Renault to become model 12) and took over the assembly of Willys Overland cars that were replaced by the Ford models like the Galaxie while the pickups were made in Taubate. Successes such as Escort and Del Rey and the entire line of trucks were manufactured in São Bernardo.
In 2001 Ford opened a modern factory in the Camaçari Complex, in Bahia, where today Ka and EcoSport are made. In 2018 the company announced a strategic decision to focus its efforts only on SUVs and pickups, keeping the subcompact Ka but giving up cars like the Fiesta and Focus.