General Motors idles Sao Jose de Campos, Brazil plant on poor demand

Jonathan Lopez

30-Mar-2023

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–General Motors (GM) has idled its Sao Jose de Campos, Brazil plant producing pick-up trucks from 27 March to 11 April to “adjust production” to current poor demand, the US automotive major said to ICIS on Thursday.

General Motors operates three production plants in Brazil, two in the Sao Paulo state and one in Rio Grande do Sul.

A spokesperson for General Motors did not specify how many employees at the Sao Jose de Campos – north of Sao Paulo city – site had been sent home for an extended Easter break.

The plant in Sao Jose de Campos produces GM’s S10 pick-up truck.

“The affected employees at the Sao Jose dos Campos plant will be in vacation, returning to work after the shutdown period. All other GM facilities in the region are operating normally,” said the spokesperson.

They did not elaborate about demand levels and how this shutdown could affect 2023 production and sales forecasts.

GM employs 17,500 workers in South America, according to the spokesperson. Globally, GM employs 167,000 workers, according to its website.

DOWNTURN
The Brazilian automotive industry has entered a downturn as high interest rates are deterring consumers from big-ticket purchases, while it grapples with a persistent shortage for components.

Earlier in March, Hyundai also said to ICIS it was idling one of its plants in Brazil.

Press reports in local media said Stellantis – maker of brands such Fiat, Jeep, Peugeot e Citroen – had also idled some of its production in Brazil.

Stellantis had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

While the GM spokesperson would not elaborate about the company’s forecasts for 2023, they referred to Brazil’s automotive trade group Anfavea’s forecasts, which expect an increase of 3% in sales, year on year.

The trade group expects vehicle production to increase by 2.2% in 2023, year on year, to about 2.42m units, including light and heavy vehicles.

The automotive industry is a key consumer of petrochemicals: the sector sells around 20% of the materials it produces to automobile manufacturers.

A typical vehicle contains several chemical products such antifreeze and other fluids, catalysts, plastics, rubber tyres and hoses, upholstery fibres, coatings, and adhesives.

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