The significant drop in sales of premium cars, also attributed to the economic crisis exacerbated by the pandemic of the coronavirus, led the automaker Mercedes-Benz to end production of its cars in Brazil. The decision will affect 370 company employees in Iracemápolis, in the interior of São Paulo, who will not be fired immediately and may, among the hypotheses, join a voluntary dismissal program.
Inaugurated in 2016, the factory received R $ 600 million in investments and produced the GLA SUV and the Class C medium sedan. New SUV units have not appeared since September, while the processes related to the sedan ended last Wednesday (16). The goal, says Mercedes, was to manufacture up to 20,000 vehicles per year, but only 1,206 GLA and 1,785 Class C were registered between January and November 2020, according to data from Fenabrave.
With 24,235 inhabitants, Iracemápolis thus loses the second largest employer in the municipality. “Among direct and outsourced jobs, Mercedes employed 500 to 600 workers,” said administrative manager Luiz Marrafon to ISTOÉ.
Who follows a similar path is Audi, which, with the purpose of incentives, should abandon its production line in São José dos Pinhais, metropolitan region of Curitiba, in Paraná.
For the time being, one of the confirmations is that the assembly of the current generation of the A3 model in the unit will be completed in 2020. In any case, the automaker declares to be in direct contact with the federal government to avoid more extreme measures.
Brazilian industrial decline
The report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development released in 2016 already warned of a phenomenon that he classified as an early dismantling of industry in Brazil, that is, the sector must collapse before reaching its full potential.
In the early 1970s, the document indicates, the participation of manufactures in the generation of employment and added value in Brazil corresponded to 27.4%. In 2014, this share dropped to 10.9%. According to the IBGE, the rate in 2018 was 11%.
Economic shocks experienced by the national market in the 1980s, commercial opening in the 1990s, abandonment of development policies and the use of the exchange rate as a tool to fight inflation intensified the process, in the evaluation of the study, reinforced, still, by liberalizing reforms of the Fund International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and, more recently, the export basket focused on commodities and a real considered valued.
Reversing the situation is possible, the survey indicates: “The successful experience of industrialized countries demonstrates that structural transformation requires attention to different sources of growth, including stimulating private and public investment, supporting technological development, strengthening domestic demand and increasing domestic producers’ ability to meet international requirements. “