While the plan still needs final government approval, BMW is set to become the latest maker to open an automotive assembly plant in Brazil. The new factory is expected to produce about 30,000 vehicles a year once it opens in 2014 in the southern state of Santa Catarina.
Brazil is a relative latecomer to booming Brazil which, depending on how you measure it, has become the world’s third or fourth-largest national automotive market. But it’s by no means the only global automaker eyeing additional opportunities. An even bigger Nissan factory, located near Rio, is also set to open in 2014.
The pace of competition is readily apparent at this week’s Sao Paulo Auto Show in the Portugese-speaking nation’s biggest – and most traffic clogged city. Virtually every major automaker, including the “usual suspects” from Europe, the U.S., Japan and South Korea, as well as an assortment of Chinese brands, are competing for the eye of Brazil’s rapidly expanding middle-class.