New productive systems in the automotive industry: the current situation of three innovative plants in Brazil

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Pires, S.R.I.


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 2, Number 1, p.46-62 (2002)



This article provides an overview of three innovative production systems established in Brazil by several major automakers over the last five years. During this period, significant investments have been made in Brazil’s automotive industry and new managerial experiments and innovations have been implemented in plants established in the country. Some of these new plants have become a benchmark for several basic processes in the sector, such as inbound logistics, and have attracted the attention of most parts of the automotive industry. The first system studied is the modular consortium of VW’s truck and bus chassis plant, in which several important points found five years after the plant opened deserve highlighting. The second system is the industrial condominium of VW-Audi which opened in March 1999, which has become a reference for the entire automotive industry, particularly due to its broader applications and the improved balance of risks and dependence among the partners. The third case consists of the dedicated supply systems built up by Dana and Chrysler at the Dakota plant since July 1998. This plant was recently closed as a result of several problems caused by low market demand. Despite the fact that these three new and inspiring productive systems have proven their superiority by dint of their high output and profits, they have been facing difficult and far-reaching market circumstances outside their sphere of influence. © 2002 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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