GM is the market leader in the United States. Volkswagen has Europe. Toyota has Australia and Japan. Fiat has…. Brazil? That’s right. Fiat is the number one in Brazil. Brazilians do love a good Fiat. But with Volkswagen’s global ambitions, that number one position in Brazil isn’t safe for Fiat. Volkswagen is number 2 there and if it one thing Volkswagen doesn’t like, it’s playing second fiddle. This is why Fiat is going on the offensive.
MoneyControl.com reports that Fiat Brazil is going to invest 10 billion Brazilian reais (that’s about $6b to you) in Brazilian operations over the next 5 years. That’s a lot of cheddar! 70 percent of that money will go to the car division. They’ll need that money as Fiat Brazil is going to unleash 20 new models and refreshes next year according to executives. Later on in the year, Fiat Brazil will give more details on what this massive investment will fund. But one thing is for sure. Fiat’s Brazilian operations need that money. Their factory in Minas Gerais is running at near peak of 800,000 vehicles a year. Last year it manufactured 729,000 vehicles. And that production shows no sign of slowing down as car demand is still high, even though the Brazilian government withdrew tax incentives for car purchases. Fiat will also triple production at its Argentinian factory in Cordoba for two years, just to keep up with Brazilian demand. Wow. Suddenly 10 billion reais doesn’t sound like enough!