Visteon Corp., an automotive supplier, is making a multi-million dollar investment to expand its interiors and electronics production capacity in Brazil.
Most of the investment will go toward expanding and modernizing Visteon's Arbor plant in Guarulhos, which produces instrument panels, consoles and other interior components. Visteon is also expanding its facility in Manaus, which makes electronics products including instrument clusters and audio systems, with a focus on serving original equipment vehicle manufacturers.
"We are increasing capacity and equipment to keep up with the demand, and to fully support new vehicle projects that customers have awarded us this year," said Alfeu Doria, Visteon's country leader for Brazil.
Visteon will continue investing in Brazil with a goal of increasing its business in the country by 50% over the next three years, Doria said. Visteon will continue to assemble climate system products in Argentina, where it operates plants in Buenos Aires; Quilmes; and Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego.
Doria noted the plant expansions will benefit automakers based in Brazil. "Brazil's automotive industry is experiencing a significant upswing, and our priority is to capture businesses and meet our current customers' demand," he said.
In addition to adding equipment and expanding production, Visteon is striving to increase Brazil-manufactured content in its products, known as the nationalization index. "We are seeking operational efficiency and cost reductions, and nationalizing components is one of the strategies to become more competitive," Doria said.
Visteon has about 2,000 employees in Brazil and Argentina, and South America accounted for 6% of the company's global revenue in 2009 -- a number that Doria aims to increase through additional production capacity and new business.