Ford closes Brazil plants

Ford Motor Company says it is closing its three production lines in Brazil after a century of operations. The decision is part of the South American unit restructuring following the impact of the coronavirus on its performance, Kallanish learns from the US car manufacturer.

“The Covid-19 pandemic expands the industry’s persistent idle capacity and reduced sales, resulting in years of significant losses in Brazil,” says Ford president and chief executive Jim Farley. “With more than a century in South America and Brazil, this is a very difficult but necessary action to create a healthy and sustainable business.”

The company will continue its activity in the country as a distributor with maintenance and warranty assistance.

Ford ceased production at the Camaçari and Taubaté plants as from 11 January. The Troller plant will continue to operate until the fourth quarter.

Manufacturing operations and sales centres in other South America markets are not affected.

“Ford will serve customers in the region with a portfolio of increasingly electrified SUVs, pickups and commercial vehicles sourced from Argentina, Uruguay and other markets,” the company adds.

Ford closed 2020 as the fifth-largest car seller in Brazil with a 7.14% stake in the domestic market. The company’s overall sales reached 139,897 vehicles last year, -39% lower compared to 2019.

Ford will maintain its development centre in Bahia, as well as its South American headquarters in São Paulo.

According to Brazilian media reports, the closure of the three production lines will affect around 5,000 employees in Brazil. The decision will also affect Ford’s largest steel suppliers, ArcelorMittal and Ternium.