Ford Announces Closing of Brazil Manufacturing Operations
The decision is part of a restructuring plan aimed at improving financial performance. Although the company blamed the pandemic for exasperating years of losses and poor sales, it had announced plans to scale back in several markets before the outbreak, which included Brazil, along with the UK, France, Germany and Russia.
The company said in a statement it will cease production immediately at the factories “as the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies persistent industry idle capacity and slow sales that have resulted in years of significant losses.” Research firm IHS Markit estimates that global car sales dropped about 15% in 2020. As we’ve previously reported, in , the worst yearly record since 2016, and are not expected to recover for at least two years, Ford said.
The automaker also said it will keep its South America headquarters, product development centre and proving grounds in Brazil. “With more than a century in South America and Brazil, we know these are very difficult, but necessary, actions to create a healthy and sustainable business,” said Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO. “We are moving to a lean, asset-light business model by ceasing production in Brazil and serving customers with some of the best and most exciting vehicles in our global portfolio.”
Ford also said its Brazilian clients will have their needs met with cars sourced from Argentina, Uruguay and other regions.
This is yet another big blow to Brazil, who has economy has suffered since 2014 and has only sunk further amid the pandemic. The countries unemployment rate increased to 14.3 per cent in the three months to October of 2020. The closure is expected to cause another 5,000 people, mostly in Brazil, to lose their jobs. Ford also closed a Sao São Bernardo do Campo plant in 2019 and cut hundreds of jobs last year amid a Covid induced downturn in sales. However, the car manufacturer says it remains committed to the region.
"I want to emphasize that we are committed to the region for the long term and will continue to offer customers full sales, service and warranty support," said Lyle Watters, president of Ford South America and the company's International Markets Group.
Canoo Awards Manufacturing Contract to VDL Nedcar
Canoo, a trailblazing company in the electric vehicle (EVs) manufacturing industry, has officially announced owned and contract manufacturing plans that will ensure the company manages to deliver on its promise to consumers of production and delivery of vehicles in Q4, 2022.
During the company’s first Investor Relations Day, Chairman & CEO of Canoo, Tony Aquila, named VDL Nedcar as its contract manufacturing partner. VDL Nedcar, which I’m sure many of you will already have heard of, is the only independent Vehicle Contract Manufacturer in the Netherlands and has enjoyed fifty years of growth under owners, including Mitsubishi Motors and Volvo cars. According to the report, Nedcar will manufacture the Lifestyle Vehicle for the United States and European Union markets, while Canoo builds a US-based mega micro-factory.
"We conducted an exhaustive search, invested significant amounts of time and resources that span the globe, in our search for our Phase 1 contract manufacturer. VDL Nedcar is the right partner," said Tony Aquila, Investor, Chairman and CEO of Canoo, Inc. "They are the top trusted European manufacturer building high-quality products for leading OEMs, and they significantly outcompeted the other contenders. VDL is also independently owned by the van der Leegte family of entrepreneurs - which aligns with our commitment to support businesses that form the backbone of communities. This strategic partnership will enable us to deliver vehicles to market while we build our Phase 2 factory in Oklahoma. It also strongly positions us for geographic expansion in Europe and builds a lasting relationship with VDL Groep of companies. Our investment will help us scale quickly and fulfil our mission to bring affordable, purpose-built EVs to Everyone."
Canoo and VDL have already gotten to work on vehicle manufacturability and production planning so that Canoo can successfully lay the groundwork for its upcoming US manufacturing operations expansion, which will be completed in Oklahoma in 2022. The Nedcar facility currently expected to produce around 1000 units for both the US and European markets in 2022, with an additional 15000 targeted for the following year.
"Canoo's bold approach to designing and building electric vehicles makes them an ideal partner as we work together to shape the future of mobility," said John van Soerland, CEO of VDL Nedcar. "This partnership advances our strategic vision to provide a contract manufacturing solution and expand our expertise in the EV arena."
Currently, Canoo is entering its GAMMA phase of development and is on track to start production soon. The company intends and expects to launch its Lifestyle Vehicle in Q4 2022, closely followed by the Multi-Purpose Delivery Vehicle and Pickup Truck.
Watch this space.