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Fiat draws suppliers to new northeast plant

June 22 2014

Committed to spend BRL2bn (US$900m), 11 suppliers have signed contracts with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to build 16 factories surrounding the automaker’s new factory complex in north east Brazil.

Negotiations were longer than expected and was one of the reasons for the 12-month delay of start of construction.

40% of parts used in production will be provided by these companies and will provide 4,000 new jobs in a rural region of low incomes and limited industrial activity. The site is in Goiana, 70km (43 miles) north of the Pernambuco state capital Recife.

The main supplier is the FCA group’s Magneti Marelli, which is set to build six production units for parts such as fuel tanks, stamped parts, brakes, clutch, exhaust systems and others.

Other companies are Adler (carpets and roof lining), Lear (seats), Saint-Gobain (glass), Powercoat (paint), Denso (HVAC), PMC (metal structures), Tiberina (chassis), Pirelli (tyres), Faurecia (plastics) and Brose (window winder mechanisms).

Included in the FCA’s overall spend in Brazil of BRL4bn/$1.8bn (4,500 direct employees) will be a new research and development, innovation and engineering centre in Recife.

Stefan Ketter, FCA global manufacturing chief and head of the Brazilian ‘Pernambuco Project’, said: “This centre will operate fully integrated with similar facilities in Italy and the US.” FCA expects to hire up to 50 engineers and technicians for the centre within the next few years.

Prototypes of the new plant’s first confirmed product – the Fiat ‘small wide platform’-based Jeep Renegade – will be ready next September. FCA expects to open the factory at the end of this year and start production in the second quarter of 2015.

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