Mercedes to get $700 mn from Brazilian bank

January 6th, 2010 - 5:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 6 (IANS/EFE) German automaker Mercedes-Benz will get a loan of 1.2 billion reais ($700 million) from Brazilian state development bank to expand production in Brazil.
The funds will allow Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG, to increase production capacity at its plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo, an industrial city in Sao Paulo, the BNDES bank said in a statement.

The loan will also allow the multinational to develop engines in line with Brazil’s new environmental requirements and create new truck models as well as modernise its distribution centre for spare parts.

“The development of new truck models by local engineers will strengthen national engineering,” the BNDES statement said.

“The new diesel engine to be developed will comply with the requirements imposed by the Air Pollution Control Program for Automobiles that will take effect in 2012,” it said.

BNDES estimates that Mercedes-Benz expansion will create 1,900 new jobs and increase the manufacturer’s production capacity from 55,000 to 67,000 vehicles a year.

The bank added that the company launched its expansion project last year with its own funding, with which it acquired machinery and equipment made in Brazil, and which achieved the goal of boosting production capacity.

The plant at Sao Bernardo do Campo, inaugurated in 1956 and which has produced some 1.2 million trucks and 500,000 buses, is Mercedes-Benz’s biggest outside Germany.

According to company figures, Mercedes-Benz kept its leadership last year in the category of commercial vehicles in Brazil with a production of 34,000 trucks and 18,970 buses and a sale of 39,000 trucks and 12,000 buses.

The firm, which exports Brazilian-made vehicles to close to 30 countries, last year planned foreign sales of some 3,000 trucks and 6,500 buses.

–IANS/EFE

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