Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus celebrates 25 years of choosing Resende to host its factory. With an initial investment of US$ 250 million, the automaker has already quintupled the resources applied for the development of its operation, which has had a qualitative leap since its installation in the city. In total, over this period, R$ 5.5 billion is allocated to the company's growth, in five consecutive investment cycles, with the most recent expected to end in 2021.
This amount revolutionized VWCO, culminating in its definitive expansion into the commercial vehicle market. After the construction of its headquarters in Resende, VWCO created remarkable families of products, such as the 2000 Series, Constellation and Delivery, in addition to the introduction of the MAN brand in the country. Also part of these developments are the entire Euro 5 line, expansion of the factory's capacity, development of new products and expansion to international markets. There are also investments in electric mobility.
“Over 25 years, our factory has become a reference with unprecedented Modular Consortium and has produced a series of vehicles that have become true icons of transportation. The secret to our brand's success is based on a clear pillar: the customer is always first. It is the basis for the development of every new product and our services”, says Roberto Cortes, president and CEO of Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus.
The search for a new plant and business model came with the end of Autolatina, when the automaker found itself without a line to assemble its products, which were gaining increasing notoriety among customers. With speed, agility and considering all the relevant aspects to define the location of the new plant, a technical study was carried out to conclude the choice, which consumed about 60 thousand hours.
The interest aroused provoked singular scenes, such as processions and vigils of local churches to attract Volkswagen to their municipalities, and even a face-to-face in the restaurant of a city visited by technicians of the assembler in the south of Rio de Janeiro, discovered during lunch and sifted with questions.
The choice for the city of the south of Rio de Janeiro was due to the many advantages of the region. Resende was halfway between Rio and São Paulo, close to the main suppliers of the brand, and important consumer centers, in addition there was qualified labor available and training centers for professionals committed to cooperating. The decision was made public at a press conference at the Palácio Guanabara (Guanabara Palace), attended by executives from the automaker and authorities from the federal, state and municipal governments.
The initial project envisaged employing 2,000 employees, and producing 30,000 trucks and buses a year. Resende's choice for an investment of US$ 250 million in values at the time was preceded by a dispute involving nine governors, forty-one mayors and hundreds of letters answered, coming from interested in offering industrial areas.
The new plant still foresaw the adoption of an unprecedented production process, with the direct participation of suppliers. Four months after the city was announced, the system called the Modular Consortium would start a year of testing in a laboratory factory at the Industrial Pole of Resende. It would be the beginning of the enterprise that changed the economic profile of the southern region of Rio de Janeiro, whose automotive hub is today one of the largest in Brazil.
Twenty-five years later, the factory has a production capacity of 100 thousand trucks and buses per year. The brand celebrates the leadership of its trucks and buses in various market segments and the definitive entry into zero emission mobility, with the recently announced creation of the e-Consortium for the manufacture of electric trucks.
Successful projects come out of the factory. The brand's worldwide development center, located in Resende, is the great creator of Constellation and Delivery families in the country. And his gaze also turns to the future. The team of 600 engineers dedicated to the brand at the factory devised the first electric truck developed in Brazil, the e-Delivery.
Resende in numbers
Today, Resende is part of the second largest automotive center in the country. Together with Porto Real, Itatiaia and Quatis form the Automotive Cluster in the South of Rio de Janeiro State, with around 20 companies in total.
The VWCO factory was a pioneer in the region and currently has one million square meters of total area, 148 thousand square meters of built area, 100 thousand square meters in the supplier park and 50 thousand square meters in the logistics center. Putting it all into motion, more than 4,500 employees strive to do their best every day, with great determination and team spirit.