Ford Will Invest $156.5 Million in Argentina Business

Argentina heats up…

By Brendan Moore

08.13.2007

Ford has issued a press release stating that they are going to invest $156.5 million (USD) in their Argentinian subsidiary in order to develop a new car and pickup truck model specifically for the Latin American market.

No other details regarding the vehicles were revealed. Ford did say that the new models would be produced at the Pacheco plant which is right outside of Buenos Aires. Approximately 70% of Ford’s production at the plant is sold outside of Argentina, but in Latin America. Ford currently produces the Focus sedan and the popular Ranger pickup in Argentina.

2007 Troller Pantanal

There is some chatter that Ford may use the Troller Pantanal pickup as the basis for the new pickup. Ford acquired Troller of Brazil in early 2007; Troller produces only two models; a small, tough 4WD named the T4 which is based on the original Willys Jeep, and the aforementioned pickup truck called the Pantanal. Despite the chatter, this seems somewhat divorced from reality as the Pantanal, although tough as nails, is an old design, and could not be adapted easily to current industry standards.

Things looked very bleak for Ford fairly recently in Argentina, as they did for all the car companies in the country, particularly during the economic freefall that occurred in 2001 and lasted until 2003. The auto manufacturing sector in Argentina, however, is now experiencing a rebirth of sorts, with 432,101 vehicles produced in 2006. Argentina is currently the No. 3 auto-producing county in Latin America. Some industry-watchers are predicting that 2007 could see an all-time production record of over 500,000 vehicles. This healthy market climate has prompted Ford to make the new-model investment in Argentina. The Argentine economy as a whole has grown an average 8% annually since 2003.

Another important factor currently is the weak Argentine peso, which makes the cars and trucks produced in Argentina look like quite the bargains in the rest of Latin America.

Ford is not alone in sensing opportunity in Argentina – Fiat, General Motors, Honda, VW, and Chery are all increasing their investment in Argentina’s auto production base.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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1 Comment

  1. Interesting to see a reborn of the Argentinian industry, who had its modern roots with IKA (Industrias Kaiser Argentina) when Kaiser Industries (also here a link on Wikipedia), the last part of Kaiser-Frazer (or Kaiser-Willys when Kaiser merged with Willys-Overland) moved its production to South America, the Willys Aero moved to Brazil and the manufacturer became Willys-Overland do Brasil who was acquired by Ford of Brazil in the early 1970s while the Kaiser production moved to Argentina.

    However in the early 1960s, the old Kaiser model showed its age and did some joint-ventures with Renault and AMC, where some Ramblers models were assembled in ckd. But one Rambler model, the American, gets a new life when Pininfarina made some body changes and IKA put the “Tornado” engine under the hood to let born a Argentine legend, the IKA Torino (who’ll known as Renault Torino when Renault buyed all the stakes of IKA in the mid-1970s)

    Other car makers was installed before IKA, GM, Ford and Chrysler, Chrysler solded however their Argentinian subsdiary to VW in the late 1970s. In the case of GM, they stopped all productive activities in Argentina (I don’t know if some models from their Brazilian subsdiary come to Argentina)

    Ford was more lucky however in Argentina and some models get a longer life, the early 1960s US Falcon was made in Argentina to the early 1990s, more infos on this Spanish site
    http://www.todofalcon.com.ar

    Strange then Renault Argentina didn’t step in the opportunity to create a new “Renault Torino” by using the Nissan Skyline body, it could had been a modern incarnation of this Argentine legend.

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