With an eye on market recovery and increasing exports, the Jeep factory in Goiana (Brazil) now produces 24 hours
Thursday, 10 de May de 2018
Jeep’s Automotive Plant in Goiana, Brazil’s state of Pernambuco, starts a third shift allowing for production expansion. The announcement was made by FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne (photo)
A new step in the history of the Jeep factory in Goiana, in Brazil’s state of Pernambuco, has just been inaugurated. The most modern Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) plant in the world began its 24 hour operation after the addition of a third shift. With this, the production, which has been in operation for less than three years, now enters a more advanced stage, which will allow an increase in the manufacturing of vehicles. Last year, 179 thousand units were produced and, this year, the production lines could reach the installed capacity of 250 thousand vehicles per year, depending on the demand. Extending the timetable also means creating new opportunities. For the initial phase of the night shift, 1,5 thousand new jobs were opened, between direct vacancies and the suppliers’ park, thus increasing the number of employees to 13,600.
“This is an important step because it allows for the continuity of its commitment and the vision with which this project was born, all of which are essential elements to continue our development”, said FCA’s CEO Sergio Marchionne about the third shift. The announcement was made within the Jeep facilities to officials and authorities, including the President of the Republic, Michel Temer, in an event on March 23. Marchionne emphasized that the extension of the working schedule comes in the wake of the first signs of recovery in the Brazilian economy and also reinforces the continuity of the Jeep project in Pernambuco. “We’re here to stay. We have invested more than R$ 11 billion (Brazilian Real) in this operation. Our commitment to Brazil is serious and real”, he expressed in a news conference.
During the announcement, the governor of Pernambuco, Paulo Câmara, recalled the importance of the Automotive Plant to the state, which was revealed in the growth of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which rose 2% in 2017, driven by the impact of the automotive sector in the industry, which expanded almost 50% in the period. Câmara recalled that FCA also brought innovation to the state of Pernambuco, with the installation of a research center that exports technology to the world and called for the maintenance of tax incentives for the automotive industry in the Northeast of the country. “The Jeep factory is a global benchmark in the automotive industry, making quality products”, he said.
President Temer visited the production line accompanied by the Finance Minister, Henrique Meirelles, the Education minister, Mendonça Filho, the Industry of Mines and Energy minister, Fernando Filho, Foreign Trade and Services minister, Marcos Pereira, Governor Paulo Câmara and Senators, deputies and other authorities. “I saw an extraordinary technological innovation in the factory and received enthusiastic testimonials from several employees”, commented the president.
The climate of optimism among the workers, to which Temer referred, is related to the creation of new opportunities by extending the number of shifts. In addition to hiring, many employees who were already part of the crew were asked to form a team of managers forthe third shift. They were largely empowered to take on the roles.
The appreciation for their talents can be seen in cases like that of Diego Penaforte, 27, born in Goiana and promoted to supervisor of the assembly line. “The next step is to continue to develop more, to buy my house and get married next year”, the young manager envisions excitedly.
The good news is that, in addition to these vacancies, others should continue to be created throughout the year, depending on market demand. They will be distributed for both management and base positions. “This is a factory that gives life to so many people who have found professional opportunities here”, said Stefan Ketter, vice president of Worldwide Manufacturing at FCA, responsible for the design and construction of the plant. Ketter recalled the beginning of the Jeep operation in Pernambuco, whose plant was erected in the middle of a sugar cane field. “We believed in this project, which is now responsible for the production of three successful cars, the Jeep Renegade and Compass, and Fiat Toro”, he said. He also stressed the importance of the participation of those in the region in the factory, which represents 90% of the workforce, being 85% from the state of Pernambuco.
Among so many announcements and important attendances, the event also marked the announcement of Ketter’s succession by Antonio Filosa, FCA’s general director in Argentina. “We have a bright future ahead of us. Our efforts will be towards the integration and motivation of the work teams”, said the new manager
Antonio Filosa, a 44 year old engineer, was born in the region of Naples, Italy. He graduated from the prestigious Polytechnic Institute of Milan and complemented his management training at Fundação Dom Cabral in Minas Gerais , Brazil. He joined the Fiat Group, now FCA, in 1999, and since then has accumulated extensive international experience, working in the areas of Manufacturing, Purchasing and Supply Chain, New Products, Marketing and Project Management. He has held positions in Spain, the United States, Italy, Argentina and Brazil. He arrived at the Fiat plant in Betim (Minas Gerais, Brazil) in 2006, where he held the positions of Internal Logistics, Strategic Planning and Purchase manager, as well as Assistant Manufacturing Director. He was Director of Purchasing for Latin America and Director General of FCA Argentina.
Stefan Ketter returns to Europe and continues as FCA Chief Manufacturing Officer and member of GEC, the group’s top executive post
The opening of the third production shift should further strengthen the already strong exporting characteristic of the Jeep factory in Goiana. The success of the sales of the models produced in Pernambuco is already consolidated in the domestic market. Jeep sales in Brazil totaled 88.2 thousand units last year, an increase of 49.3% over the previous year.
The factory’s role also translates into exports to Latin America’s markets. Last year, around 35,000 cars produced in the Plant were exported to markets such as Argentina, Mexico, the Caribbean, Peru, Colombia and Costa Rica. The volume rocked the trade balance of Pernambuco, increasing exports by 38.4% in 2017 in relation to the previous year. The Port of Suape, through which the cargoes are sent, also broke records in the shipment of vehicles.
“Brazil needs to look at the opportunities out there. We need to recognize the importance of exports and make this a project. FCA has instruments and conditions of competitiveness in global markets”, highlighted Sergio Marchionne, emphasizing the role of the Brazilian government with measures such as tax exemption in the field of exports, to enable the best use of these opportunities.
Marchionne also said that new opportunities are opening up in Latin American markets in the gaps created as a result of tensions on a global scale, such as potential disputes between the United States and countries like Mexico. “Brazil is able to fill in these gaps. This needs to happen now”, he said. He stressed the importance of Mexico as a priority consumer market for its potential. He also said he intends to comply with FCA’s growth plan, which runs until 2018. In June of this year, a new plan with goals until 2022 will be presented.
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