Case IH Agriculture and Case Construction, which are part of CNH Global N.V., last week announced the reopening of their production unit in Sorocaba, Brazil, which will generate more than 1,000 direct jobs.
The company intends to increase its production of agricultural and construction machinery, which is currently carried out at the Curitiba and Belo Horizonte units in Brazil, and also manufacture components used in other Case Construction and Case IH machinery.
The project is part of an investment plan totaling nearly BRL 1 billion (about U.S. $623.9 million), part of the overall investment that the Fiat Group is committed to for its 2007-2010 plan, announced in 2006.
The 968,752-square-foot Sorocaba plant, which was closed in 2001, was acquired through the Case and New Holland merger. At that time, the Sorocaba unit produced 500 machines per year and employed more than 500 people. With the increase in the agricultural and construction sectors in Latin America, the company decided to reopen it.
With the reopening, the Sorocaba plant will be enlarged to 1.6 million square feet, and production will begin in 2009. At the same site, the company will construct a 645,834-square-foot parts distribution center — the largest in Latin America and the most modern one in the Fiat Group worldwide. It will house the latest-generation moving and packing equipment, and an inventory of 154 thousand different types of parts.
The distribution center will be certified as a green building, a certificate granted to buildings whose construction preserves the area where they are located and feature environmental preservation systems, such as the re-use of rain water and the use of alternative energy sources, such as sunlight.
“Sorocaba will produce new models of agricultural and construction machines for the global platform of both brands,” said Valentino Rizzioli, president of CNH Latin America. “This manufacturing site will enable us to increase our production, so as to better meet demand in the agricultural and construction markets, which have been continuously expanding.
“We will have sequenced and continuous-flow manufacturing, leading to better, faster and cheaper production, which will favor the competitiveness and marketability of our high-technology products in domestic and foreign markets.”
The plant will have the latest generation equipment, including laser plate-cutting machines equipped with automatic feeders, robotized welding stations, aerial conveyors for parts and components, and the most updated painting system, using electrophoretic immersion and low-temperature acrylic processes.
In addition to machinery, the new plant will produce components for equipment manufactured at other CNH plants such as the Piracicaba facility, which produces sugar cane combine harvesters, as well as for export.
With the planned reopening of the Sorocaba plant, Case Construction and Case IH intend to open local business offices as early as September. The Logistics and Parts Distribution Center, currently located in Itu, Brazil, will be relocated in June 2009.
CNH Global N.V. is a global provider of agricultural and construction equipment supported by more than 11,000 dealers in 160 countries.