Four years ago, VW’s plant in Resende, Brazil, was bustling, with workers churning out trucks six day a week. But in 2013, a political crisis engulfed the country, throwing the economy into chaos. Sales of commercial vehicles tanked, and production at Resende stalled.
As demand for delivery services in Brazil’s urban areas picks up, however, Volkswagen is betting on a rebound. The world’s largest carmaker is now sinking €260 million into its new, lighter-weight Delivery models – its largest investment in a commercial vehicle for the Brazilian market in more than a decade.
Brazilian commercial vehicle sales could boom again in 2019, said Roberto Cortes, the Latin America’s CEO of MAN, a truck brand of VW. Local market leader Daimler, with its Mercedes-Benz division a major truck maker, is operating according to similar calculations, predicting 20 percent growth next year alone. VW has been trying to regain the upper hand in Brazil against its Stuttgart-based competitor for the past 13 years.