Ford’s Shuttered Brazilian Assembly Plants Could Be Bought By Chinese Carmakers

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Chinese carmakers are eyeing at least one of the production plants that Ford announced it would shut down earlier this week, CNN Brasil reports.

Four carmakers in all have expressed interest in one plant. This ad-hoc coalition is made up of the following: Great Wall Motors, Changan Auto, Geely and GAC. These carmakers are being represented by Brazil’s CAOA Group, a local distributor and partner for yet another Chinese carmaker, Chery.

That’s a rather convoluted series of relationships, but such is the nature of multinational firms. The coalition of Chinese carmakers has expressed interest in the Camaçari production plant because it is relatively modern and is outfitted with the tooling and production line needed to resume passenger-car assembly.

The report claims of the possible Camaçari plant sale:

Camaçari has a great advantage compared to the plant in São Bernardo do Campo: it is newer and has already been completely outfitted to produce passenger cars. In the case of the plant in São Paulo, it focused on truck fabrication, and also on producing the Fiesta. The larger share of Ford’s production was, indeed, in Camaçari, where vehicles such as the EcoSport and Ka, which led sales for the carmaker, were produced.

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If the sale were finalized, it could appease the government of Brazil, which has reportedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the closures. Officials have accused Ford of not acting in good faith when it took subsidies for the plants throughout the company’s tenure of production in the country, per CNN Brazil.

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The sudden closures left many workers there with uncertain futures, but it may be possible to keep them in the plants if the Chinese coalition were to buy it. It would not be a seamless transition — not exactly — but for those workers displaced by the sudden shutdowns, it’s probably good enough.

Photo: Getty (Getty Images)

When Ford announced the plant closures, it claimed to be in talks with the affected parties, and discussions about these possible acquisitions may have been what the carmaker was referring to.