Automotive Industrial policy and R&D Activities: Evidence from the Brazilian experience in the period 2005-2015

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2015)


This study investigates the trend observed in the Brazilian auto industry of deepening and expansion of research and development (R&D) activities aimed to new products. Brazil has been specializing in the development of vehicles, especially compact cars, including with subsidiaries own technological capacity, intended to supply the internal market and those of other emerging countries. The working hypothesis is that the expansion of the strategic role of Brazilian subsidiaries, contemplating the development of new products, was not only a strategic decision of the headquarters, but also a process of learning and developing skills in R&D, by the subsidiaries of international automakers by adapting vehicles to the conditions of roads and of features of local demand, and by induction of industrial policy for the automotive sector in Brazil. Particularly, it will be investigated the effects of the current Brazilian industrial policy for the automobile industry – Inovar-Auto – established for the period 2013-2017, over the realization of new investments by subsidiaries operating in Brazil in the development of new vehicles, construction of infrastructure and in hiring human resources needed to carry out R&D activities.
The study focuses on automakers, light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses with factories in activity in Brazil. These companies are the main developers of new vehicles in the Brazilian automotive production complex. The methodology employed consists of theoretical review on internationalization of R&D activities and empirical literature on the Brazilian auto industry, analysis of data of technological innovation from the PINTEC/IBGE for the period 2005-2011, analysis of announcements of new investments by automakers installed in Brazil, reported by the National Association of Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers (ANFAVEA) and by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Trade of Brazil (MDIC).
The results of the study shows that automakers installed in Brazil have gone through an important process of mastering the learning curve of technological development of vehicles and formation of skills to innovate, especially in the period 1992-2015. This process is evidenced by the following indicators: number of vehicles developed entirely in Brazil; increased importance of internal activities of R&D; the number of subsidiaries responsible for the development of new products; the number of companies that innovated; the number of products new to the world; the participation of internal R&D over the total technological expenditure; and the allocation of human resources in R&D activities. Under the Inovar-Auto, the qualification requirements to the incentives offered by the automotive industrial policy is inducing new investments in Brazil by automakers, in which significant part is directed to the development of new products and for the formation of the R&D infrastructure.

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