Iveco Invests in Brazilian Business

Iveco is to invest US$68 / €51.6 / £34.8 million in its Brazilian operations, based at the Sete Lagoas plant in Minas Gerais province. The company aims to produce 12,000 trucks through its Brazilian operation during 2007, of which around 30 per cent will be destined for regional export. In addition to Brazil, both Argentina and Venezuela are key markets for the Italian OEM. In Brazil, Iveco plans to increase its share of the truck market to 10 per cent from the current level of 4.2 per cent.Jorge Garcia, who has overseen Iveco’s growth in Latin America has moved to take over the Australian operation, and will be replaced as of this month by Marco Mazzu, formerly responsible for the Case New Holland’s Agricultural business in Latin America, and most recently Regional President of CNH’s European Agricultural Equipment Business.Quite where the mooted JV between Iveco and Tata for the Latin American distribution of joint branded vehicles fits is uncertain. In November, Iveco parent Fiat announced that it would make Tata Motors' new one-tonne pick-up truck at its plant in Argentina for Latin American and overseas markets from the second half of fiscal 2008.

Turkish Ford Connects to the US

According to reports from Turkish news agency Sabah, Ford is to start marketing the Transit Connect in the United States. Initially, supply will come from the Kocaeli plant, home of the JV between Ford Otosan and Koç Holdings, and Turkish-built Connect models will be made available to US customers during 2007. US production of the Transit Connect is due to commence in 2009. Interest in the one tonne sector seems to be developing apace in the US. Chevrolet's HHR panel van is not far away from production, whilst Dodge recently showcased a van version of its Nitro SUV. Trailing a possible Dodge Vito we wonder?