Brazilian automaker CAOA, that produces vehicles with Korea’s Hyundai Motor and China’s Chery Automobile, is in discussion to purchase a Ford Motor plant in the country that is set to close by 2019, according to a source with direct understanding of the matter.
Ford declared previously this month that it would close its São Bernardo do Campo plant, a sprawling complex in a suburb of São Paulo that hires some 3,000 people.
In 2018, Ford stated it used only 12 percent of its installed capacity in the plant, which is its oldest in the nation. Closing the plant is part of Ford’s wider move to stop producing heavy commercial trucks in South America. It produces the Fiesta small car at the plant as well.
Negotiations have not been finalized, the source stated.
Previously on Tuesday, São Paulo governor João Doria stated there were three companies interested in purchasing Ford’s plant, although he refused to name them. Doria has pledged to help find a buyer for the plant.
São Paulo state government refused to comment on CAOA talks with Ford. A Ford representative rejected that CAOA had approached the automaker directly about purchasing the factory.
CAOA, which started as a chain of dealerships, has broadened into manufacturing in recent years, most recently buying half of a factory originally developed by China’s Chery. As part of the plan, cars produced in the factory are now co-branded CAOA Chery.
CAOA is currently Ford’s single largest distributor in the nation.