Ford Is Ceasing Car Production in Brazil And Closing Three Brazilian Production Plants

Illustration for article titled Ford Is Ceasing Car Production in Brazil And Closing Three Brazilian Production Plants
Photo: Getty (Getty Images)

Ford is closing three production plants along with overall production in Brazil. The company announced the plans today and provided further details, while reassuring those in the South American market that despite the closures, it remains committed to the region.

Two of the blue oval’s Brazil production lines will be closed immediately. The plants in Camaçari and Taubaté will be winding down production, while it’s Troller plant in Horizonte, in the Brazilian state of Ceará, will cease production in the fourth quarter of of 2021.

Ford promises to keep serving the South American market with cars produced in Argentina and Uruguay, where assembly of some models will continue. The Ford Ranger is one such model; it’s produced in Argentina.

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The press reports cite the Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley, who said:

“With more than one century in South America and Brazil, we know that these are very difficult but necessary actions to create a healthy and sustainable business. We are moving towards an agile business model with a lighter structure in Brazil and towards providing those clients with some of the best and most exciting cars from our global portfolio. We are also rushing to provide our clients the benefits of connectivity, electrification and autonomous technologies in order to efficiently meet the need for environmentally friendly and future-proof cars.

Ford goes on to emphasize that the only thing shutting down in Brazil is production. But for the South American country it is an understandably solemn announcement, as the closure will affect many of the country’s workers. Ford claims it is coordinating with the affected parties to ameliorate the news.

And this is not the first time that a Brazilian Ford plant has closed. Recall that the carmaker closed its Sao Bernardo do Campo plant last year. The notable difference here is that car production is ceasing in the whole country.

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Illustration for article titled Ford Is Ceasing Car Production in Brazil And Closing Three Brazilian Production Plants
Photo: Getty (Getty Images)

The report also cites Lyle Watters, the president of Ford South America and the International Markets group:

Besides reducing costs in all business aspects, we oversaw the launch of the Ranger Storm, Territory and Kuga, as well as introduced innovative services for our clients. While these efforts had positive outcomes during the last quarters of the fiscal year, continued unfavorable economic conditions and the additional burden of the pandemic made it clear it was necessary to do so in order to create a sustainable and tenable future.

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So, while Farley wasn’t explicit, Watters did note the effect the pandemic had had on the company. Nonetheless, Ford’s center of product development in Bahía, and its proving grounds in Tatuí, São Paulo, will remain open. Ford’s regional headquarters there will stay open, too.

The two plants whose production is winding down today will remain in operation only to produce parts needed to bolster spare parts inventories in the country. But vehicle production is shutting down in the plants, and when the country’s dealers run out of the EcoSport, Ka, and Troller T4 models, sales of these will finalize.

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Illustration for article titled Ford Is Ceasing Car Production in Brazil And Closing Three Brazilian Production Plants
Photo: Ford Motor Company

Those three models face an uncertain future now, and among these I will mourn the Ka the most, though the Troller T4 is a close second. We’ve reached out to Ford and will provide any updates the carmaker provides.

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UPDATE [Monday, January 11, 2021, 06:05 PM CT]

A spokesperson for the Ford Motor Company replied to our inquiry about the plant closures, stating:

We will meet the needs of South American customers, including Brazil, with a range of modern and connected SUV´s, pickups, and commercial vehicles sourced from Argentina, Uruguay, and other regions. In addition to the recently announced Transit, New-Gen Ranger, Mach-1 Mustang, Bronco, we will be introducing several new vehicles including some all-new entrants and a plug-in. This includes expanding connected services and introducing new automated and electrified technologies to the markets.

As we said today, production will cease immediately at Camaçari and Taubaté, with some parts production continuing for a few months to support inventories for aftermarket sales. The Troller plant in Horizonte will continue to operate until the fourth quarter of 2021. As a result, the company will end sales of EcoSport, Ka and T4 once inventories are sold. Manufacturing operations in Argentina and Uruguay and the sales companies in other SA markets are not affected.

In Argentina, Manufacturing operations will not be impacted and the investment plan to produce the next- generation Ranger continues as planned. Ka sales will continue until inventories are exhausted and EcoSport sales will continue to be sourced from an alternative region for Consortio customers.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. Periodista automotriz, Naturally Aspirated Stan.

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DISCUSSION

eduardo-cl
Slow car slow, Brazilian edition

This was expected, Ford of Brazil has been taking some bad decisions that now looks like was just a gradual end to the Brazilian production. First they killed the truck division, that was doing great with some new engines, transmission and the old F-Series with Cummins engine basically had a market for itself in rural areas. At this time the production from the Fiesta also ended and Ford close one factory.

The EcoSport basically created a market segment when was released in 2002 and the this segment is the hottest in the country. But the current EcoSport is getting tired without signs of change or a successor. The current Ka is a good car and have two great engines, but the tech is a bit old and the competition offers more convenience itens and better room. And the Troller simply exists, without any direct competition. A Wrangler cost almost the double and don’t offer a diesel engine. In 2019 was released a option for automatic transmission for the Troller with hopes to get more sales, don’t know if it worked.

This decadency of the Brazilian built Fords was all a sign of the brand ending the plants here. Looks like the pandemic and the bad management from Bolsonaro and his incompetent team only accelerated this decision. I found very ironic that Ford is the official supplier of the Brazilian presidential motorcade, the president rides in a armored Edge ST and have som MK2 Focus, first and second gen Fusion as support.

Now we will only get imports from Ford: The Ranger from Argentina, the Edge ST and Mustang Mach 1 from USA and the Territory from China (a rebadged Yusheng crossover, terrible car and very expensive). Planned for this year have the Transit imported from Uruguay, the Bronco Sport and the Mustang Mach-E. Have some rumors about the F150 too since the Ram 1500 sold-out in less than 24 hours. The Argentina factory will not close and will make the next-gen Ranger.

To me is a real shame this, Ford of Brazil had some good cars and if the lineup was updated could still be a contender for the top sales positions. The truck division also had lots of potential with the new semi-truck released in Turkey by Ford-Otosan