2013 Land Rover Freelander/LR2Brazil is the place to be, apparently. Toyota has been investing in the South American country, as has BMW, which announced a $261 million investment in October 2012. The high-end immigration is only set to continue, as Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar-Land Rover have both announced plans to set up manufacturing operations there.

Mercedes is the big news here, as its new facility will see the German manufacturer invest 170-million euros for production of its next-generation C-Class and upcoming GLA-Class. "Brazil is an important future market. With our local production we accept the challenge and take on the competition," noted Andreas Renschler, Management Board member for Production and Procurement at Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans. Production is expected to begin by 2016.

Jaguar-Land Rover, meanwhile, isn't so concrete in its plans. The news of its investment in South America comes from a job posting for a plant quality manager in Brazil that was picked up by the UK's AutoCar. "Portuguese language skills will be definite advantage" for interested candidates, according to the job listing. The want ad follows on the heels of remarks by Jaguar Land Rover's Dr. Ralph Speth, who said there are "very intensive discussions" with Brazil's government. Unlike Mercedes, there's no mention of which vehicles will be produced in South America, although AutoCar thinks the Freelander, sold in the US as the LR2, is a leading contender.

Take a look below for the official press release from Toyota.
Show full PR text
Daimler announces new Mercedes-Benz Cars plant in Brazil

Local production capacities in Brazil for next-generation C-Class and GLA
Contribution to Mercedes-Benz 2020 growth strategy
Start of Production as early as 2016
Investment of around EUR 170 million

Andreas Renschler: "Brazil is an important future market. With our local production we accept the challenge and take on the competition."

Daimler expands in Brazil by adding a new facility to the global passenger car production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. In the future, the next-generation C-Class and the GLA will be produced for the local market in a new assembly plant in Iracemápolis near São Paulo. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff jointly signed the framework contract with Andreas Renschler, Management Board member for Production and Procurement at Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans, and Philipp Schiemer, CEO Mercedes-Benz do Brasil & Daimler Latin America, today. According to the current planning, the first vehicles will roll off the line as early as 2016. An investment of around EUR 170 million has been earmarked for expansion planned in the first stage.

Andreas Renschler: "Brazil is an important future market. With our local production we accept the challenge and take on the competition. The new facility stands exemplarily for the expansion of our global production network – we thereby approach our customers even more." Regarding the strategic importance of the future local production program, Renschler also said: "With the next generation of the C-Class and the GLA, we will be localizing two highly attractive products with top Mercedes quality, for which we see great potential in the Brazilian premium segment."
"With the local production of cars, Mercedes-Benz stands out as the only company to act in all segments of mobility in Brazil, with cars, trucks, buses and vans", said Philipp Schiemer, CEO Mercedes-Benz do Brasil. "The proximity of our production footprint in São Paulo and Minas Gerais will also allow us to have a greater integration among plants and exchange possibilities for the employees."

The foreseen production in the assembly plant should reach up to 20.000 vehicles each year. Around 1.000 new jobs will be created in the new facility. Furthermore, this should develop approximately 3.000 new jobs for suppliers. Daimler's country company Mercedes-Benz do Brasil will soon complete the purchase of land for the future plant premises in Iracemápolis near São Paulo, allowing for the start of the building preparations.

About the global Mercedes-Benz production network

The global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars includes the German plants in Sindelfingen, Bremen and Rastatt, the Hungarian plant in Kecskemét, the US plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the South African plant in East London and the BBAC (Beijing Benz Automotive Corporation, a joint venture between Daimler and BAIC) production facility in Beijing, China as the main vehicle production facilities. There are also CKD and SKD assembly plants in Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. At all locations, the consistently high quality of every customer vehicle is safeguarded by the global standards of the Mercedes-Benz Production System (MPS).

In addition, there are the locations of the powertrain production network, which include the Untertürkheim Mercedes-Benz plant (the central location in Germany) as well the plants in Berlin and Hamburg, and the subsidiary MDC Power in Kölleda. The international locations include the Romanian subsidiary Star Transmission, and from this year a new engine plant at the BBAC joint venture in Beijing. From 2014, Daimler and Nissan will also start the joint production of four-cylinder gasoline engines based on a Mercedes-Benz design at the Nissan plant in Decherd, Tennessee.

About Mercedes-Benz do Brasil

Daimler is represented in Brazil by its country company Mercedes-Benz do Brasil Ltda., which has operations in the Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services divisions. Daimler AG's plant in São Bernardo do Campo is the largest outside Germany and the only one, in which trucks, bus chassis and assemblies such as engines, transmissions, axles and truck cabs are produced at the same location. Another location is the former passenger car plant at Juiz de Fora, which was also incorporated into the Mercedes-Benz global commercial vehicle production network in 2010 and has been producing the Mercedes-Benz Actros and Accelo light-duty truck for the Latin American market since 2012. Long-standing experience with local production, Mercedes-Benz do Brasil's very good network and its strong position on the Brazilian commercial vehicles market were significant factors in the current decision for the location of the new passenger car assembly plant.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      My old '89 VW Fox was made in Brazil. Not a great car.
        • 1 Year Ago
        VW Fox...not a great car. You're being redundant. The factory has very little to do with whether a car turns out well or not. You could hire a bunch of Neolithic tribesmen, train them, and have them work in a car factory. The quality of a car depends on supplier QA/QC, process control, how well the design was validated, and the quality of the design itself.
          • 1 Year Ago
          Design quality should not be mistaken for build quality. Environmental factors within the factory have a lot to do with how well the parts are manufactured. Like a kid building lego, yeah the pieces can all be placed together correctly, but if the kid has greasy fingers those blocks wont hold as long.
      Felipe Politano
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting thing is that Mercedes, Audi and Land Rover have built cars in Brazil not long ago. Mercedes currently operates two plants in the country, producing trucks and Sprinter vans; but one of MB's plants has produced The first-gen A-class when it was first launched. The little car was a huge sales flop because it was too unexpensive - yes, you read it right - and so people perceived it as "the poor man's Benz" and undeserving of that star on its hood. After that Mercedes has built the C-class for export only - Brazil's tax system is so f***ed up that it was cheaper to import the sedans from Europe than selling the locally produced ones. That they are building their THIRD plant in Brazil says they do have high hopes. Audi built the first-gen A3 alongside the MkIV Golf in Brazil as well. It was somewhat of a hit, but the second-gen A3 and Golf MkV were considered too expensive and sophisticated for thar market. So Audi ceased local production and started importing A3s, while VW kept the MkIV with minor updates - and still makes them, now selling the MkVII alongside. The MkV and VI were never offered. JLR built the Defender in Brazil around that same time, but it was never their volume model, so it just didn't make sense. This time around they should be considering building the next-gen Freelander/LR2, since it was a pretty good seller back when it was fresh. I would guess they'd be considering the Evoque as well, since it's not only the brand's current best seller, but also the second second best selling import (often changing positions with first place BMW 3-series) and outselling the entire Audi brand. On a side note: Chevrolet, Citro├źn, Chery, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, JAC, Mahindra, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota and VW are all either building factories or expanding their current plants in the country.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Felipe Politano
        I thought the same. May be because the profits are higher now, one of the highest in the world, so even if they don't sell too much, they can make a lot of money from each unit. Just see Hyundai with their cheap $ 20k car, the germans can do it in a luxury level...
      Michael Scoffield
      • 1 Year Ago
      It makes sense. Brazilian economy and population will most likely boom in the next years just like in China. It's a big ass country with a lot of potential.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just in time for Brazil's economy to tank. Car companies are like coal trains, hard to stop before the wreck. Jim