Beginning next year, Mercedes-Benz Trucks will expand its production network to include the Juiz de Fora plant in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, where it will manufacture heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks for the Latin American market. As a result, Mercedes-Benz Trucks’ flagship vehicle will be produced in the plants at Wörth in Germany and Aksaray in Turkey, as well as in Brazil. The move will enable Mercedes-Benz do Brasil to respond more quickly and flexibly to the growing demand for trucks in Latin America.
Beginning in 2011, the plant in Juiz de Fora will also manufacture the Brazilian Mercedes-Benz Accelo light truck. “Due to the rapid growth of the Brazilian economy, we expect truck sales to increase further in the coming years,” explains Jürgen Ziegler, President of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil. Investments in construction, mining, agriculture and the oil industry caused demand for heavy-duty trucks in Brazil to increase by 95 percent in the first five months of 2010, compared to the same period last year. Stimulated in particular by an upswing in retail commerce, demand for light-duty trucks rose in the first five months of the year by around 45 percent compared to the same period in 2009.
Brazil is Mercedes-Benz’s largest truck market. In the first five months of the year, Mercedes-Benz Trucks sold a total of 45,174 units. Of these, 18,047 units were sold by Mercedes-Benz Trucks in Brazil, putting the country ahead of Germany, Turkey, and France.
The decision to produce the Mercedes-Benz Actros in Juiz de Fora is part of the concept calling for an expansion of Mercedes-Benz do Brasil’s production capacity. In view of the rapidly growing demand for trucks and buses in Brazil, Mercedes-Benz Trucks announced back in March that it would expand commercial vehicle production in the country to include the facility in Juiz de Fora. “The high qualification of the employees and the modern installations of the Juiz de Fora plant encouraged us to expand the production of our Mercedes-Benz trucks to also include this location,” says Ziegler. “This step is particularly necessary because our main facility in São Bernardo do Campo will reach its production capacity limit in 2012.”
The demand for heavy-duty long-haul trucks in the premium segment is currently developing as favorably in Turkey as in Brazil. Mercedes-Benz Trucks therefore announced in April that it would also begin manufacturing the Mercedes-Benz Actros at the Aksaray plant at the end of the year so that it would be able to respond quickly and flexibly to the increasing demand in Turkey.
Mercedes-Benz do Brasil is the largest manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz trucks over six tons GVW outside of Germany. Since 1956, when the plant in São Bernardo do Campo was founded, the company has produced more than 1.2 million trucks and around 540,000 buses.