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From Site Selection magazine, May 2010

Massive Factory Opens in Brazil


NH Global, a division of the Fiat Group, says its new factory in Soracaba, Brazil, is the largest single machine industry investment in that country's history. The Case New Holland Industrial Complex opened in March in Sorocaba, Brazil. CNH says the US$568-million investment will generate up to 3,000 direct jobs and 6,000 indirect jobs in two years when the factory reaches production capacity. The project, located in the State of Sao Paulo, is part of the Fiat Group's investment plan for the years 2007-2011 announced in November 2006.

CNH says its objective is to increase agricultural and construction machine production (currently done at the company's Curitiba, Piracicaba and Contagem facilities) and to manufacture components for machines produced at other company locations in Brazil. The Sorocaba factory will produce equipment to supply the Brazilian market, as well as export to other Latin American countries and more than 50 countries around the world.

"Sorocaba is going to produce agricultural and construction machines that are part of the world platform of the two brands. It will allow us to increase our production to better serve the agricultural and construction markets," said Valentino Rizzioli, president of Case New Holland for Latin America and executive vice-president of the Fiat Group.

The industrial complex has a total area of 160,000 sq. m. (1,723,200 sq. ft.), including 104,000 sq. m. (1,112,080 sq. ft.) for the factory and 56,000 sq. m. (603,120 sq. ft.) for the distribution center. By early March, more than 800 employees were working in the industrial complex, which took 18 months to construct.

CNH Global has opened a huge manufacturing comlex in Brazil to manufacture agricultural and construction machines

JTI Finds Geneva To Be Good Match

Japan Tobacco International plans a new international headquarters in Geneva.

apan Tobacco International, the global arm of the world's third largest tobacco company, Japan Tobacco, is consolidating its facilities in Switzerland and in the process considerably increasing its employment. JTI, formed in 1999 when Japan Tobacco Inc. purchased for $8 billion the international tobacco operations of R.J.Reynolds, will move into a new 269,000-sq.-ft. (24,990-sq.-m.) building in the Secheron area of Geneva.

JTI plans to move into the new international headquarters in 2013, consolidating operations from three facilities in the Geneva area. The company plans to grow its work force from its current 700 to about 1,000 in the next four years.

"Geneva is key to JTI's long-term growth," explains Frits Vranken, senior vice president business development & corporate strategy. "Our company has been located in this city for more than four decades. We felt it was time for the company to invest in its own building. It offers us more flexibility as we grow and plan for the future."

OC Expands in Belgium


wens Corning, a global producer of glass fiber reinforcements for composite systems and residential and commercial building materials, announced it has established an excellence center for technical fabrics at its manufacturing facility in Zele, Belgium. The 5,500-sq.-m. (60,000-sq.-ft.) facility will have both pilot- and full-scale state-of-the-art production equipment for developing, testing and evaluating new fabric technologies before production and use in customer processes.

In addition to equipment for weaving, stitching and assembling multi-axial fabrics, the center will have a laboratory for testing new fabric technologies in infusion molding and other closed-mold processes.

Peugeot Boosting Brazil Presence

PSA Peugeot Citroën is increasing capacity at its Porto Real factory in Brazil as part of a major investment in that country.

SA Peugeot Citroën plans to invest €530 million (US$715 million) by 2012 to develop its operations in Brazil. The investment will be used mainly to develop new Peugeot and Citroën vehicles and new engines. It will also be used to increase production capacity at the Porto Real plant.

The new investment comes in addition to other recent initiatives by the group to strengthen its presence in Brazil and, more generally, Latin America, and to speed its development in fast-growing regions. In July 2009, Peugeot Citroën inaugurated a new engine machining unit at the Porto Real plant. In January 2010, the Group hired 700 people to create a third production shift in response to growing demand in the Latin American automobile market.

"Latin America and particularly Brazil play a fundamental role in enabling us to achieve our goal of becoming a more global group," said CEO Philippe Varin at a ceremony marking the plant's opening. "By deploying a solid product plan for its brands, PSA Peugeot Citroën has laid the groundwork for its future development in this region. Peugeot is launching the Hoggar compact pick-up truck at the end of first-half 2010 and Citroën is preparing the roll-out of a new model for the second half. At the same time, we're going to increase production capacity at our Porto Real plant."

The country's fifth largest carmaker and first among the automobile manufacturers who arrived in Brazil in the 1990s, PSA Peugeot Citroën has had manufacturing operations in the country since 2001, when the Porto Real production facility was brought on stream. The plant has already produced more than 700,000 vehicles.

ABB Helping Power Vietnam

The ABB Group, which operates in about 100 countries, has opened a new power products factory near Hanoi.
Photo courtesy of ABB Group

urich-based multinational power and automation technology group ABB has opened a new power products manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Hanoi.

The plant begins operations as Vietnam is working to strengthen its electricity network to meet rising demand from its growing economy. Vietnam, with a population of around 85 million, is expected to double its electricity consumption in the next six years.

"Vietnam is a growing market and an attractive location for a production hub," said Bernhard Jucker, head of ABB's Power Products division. "This new manufacturing unit is part of our strategy to diversify our global presence and will help Vietnam to meet the growing demand for electricity while maintaining grid reliability."

The factory will manufacture medium-voltage power products, such as compact substations and switchgear, for the Vietnamese market. It will also serve as an important global sourcing base for components used by ABB in the manufacture of high-voltage products.

ABB has invested around $30 million in the facility, which will employ about 100 people. The factory is built in the Tien Son Industrial Zone in Bac Ninh Province. Construction was completed in about 15 months.

Chakan Becoming India’s Detroit

Mahindra & Mahindra has opened a huge auto and truck manufacturing plant in Chakan, India.

ahindra & Mahindra has inaugurated a new auto manufacturing plant in the industrial hub in Chakan, Maharashtra, India. The facility represents a phased investment of just over $1 billion and is spread across 700 acres (283 hectares). The plant will be scaled up to meet global demand and will eventually have an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles. The factory will produce the company's full range of products.

"It gives me great pride to see one of India's largest auto plants set up in Chakan, which is soon transforming into the Detroit of India," said Shri Ashok Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra. "It will not only provide an impetus to industrial growth in the region but will also present significant employment opportunities to local residents.

Mahindra & Mahindra officials describe the facility as a "factory of the future" that is fully integrated. "Our new state-of-the-art facility at Chakan incorporates a flexible and agile approach to manufacturing which will ensure that it is future ready and able to respond rapidly to changing customer needs," said Dr. Pawan Goenka, president, automotive sector, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. "Key focus areas include people, the environment, connected manufacturing and operational excellence. The plant has been envisioned as the hub of innovation and technology for the Mahindra Group, with several new products, including our new SUV and Pik-Up line rolling out from here. The Government of Maharashtra has worked closely with us to enable completion of this plant in a record time span of 22 months."

The plant also features several eco-friendly initiatives. Solar energy and waste heat from the oven exhaust are used to reduce the consumption of LPG and electricity in the paint shop, where a cluster of 70 solar dishes will help power the chillers.

The company has also planted approximately 7,000 trees across the huge complex.

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