09/28/2016 10h58

Investe SP sees gain in the automotive sector with Toyota’s New Research Center

Juan Quirós accompanied the vice governor Márcio França in the opening of the plant in São Bernardo do Campo

Investe São Paulo
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“This research center will stimulate innovation and improve the quality of automotive products that will hit the consumer market", said Quirós

The president of Investe São Paulo, Juan Quirós, highlights gains in terms of quality and efficiency for the automotive industry with the delivery of the Applied Research Center of Toyota, in São Bernardo do Campo. Quirós attended the opening event, which took place on August 23, along with the vice governor and secretary of Economic Development, Science, Technology and Innovation, Márcio França, who represented the governor Geraldo Alckmin at the event.

Investe São Paulo encourages and provides support to the investments made by Toyota in São Paulo, following the advice of governor Geraldo Alckmin to expand the generation of jobs and income in the state. “This research center will stimulate innovation and improve the quality of automotive products that will hit the consumer market. This shows the strength of the state of São Paulo and its contribution to the development of Brazil,” said Quirós.

According to the vice governor, large companies located in São Paulo contribute to boost the economic growth and innovation. Similar to Toyota, other institutions choose the state to settle and expand their businesses.

“Here we have political and financial stability, as well as a complete infrastructure consisting of railways, roads and airports. We also invest in research and development. We have three of the best public universities, which together with Centro Paula Souza, offer quality education to 430,000 young people. Congratulations to Toyota for this achievement. We worked together for the state São Paulo to become an example for the entire country,” said França.

The event was also the starting point of the Latin American leg of the global project “5 Continents Drive”, sponsored by Toyota Motor Corporation. Both initiatives are part of one of the main premises of the brand: making ever-better cars.

The ceremony was attended by the Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, Takeshi Uchiyamada, the CEO of Toyota for Latin America and the Caribbean, Steve St. Angelo, the president of Toyota in Brazil, Koji Kondo, and other executives of the company. The event was also attended by the director of the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Margarete Gandini, the mayor of São Bernardo do Campo, Luiz Marinho, the chairman of the he Brazilian Metalworkers Union of ABC, Rafael Marques, among other authorities.

New milestone

The project, which was named São Bernardo ReBorn, marks a new milestone in the history of the automaker with the opening of the first applied research center of the brand in Latin America, created to integrate activities related to research and development of new products and suppliers. The departments of Engineering, Procurement, Vehicle Regulations and Quality Assurance are located on site, allowing for a greater interaction and synergy between the areas for the development of future projects, as well as an even more streamlined and precise alignment in the decision-making process. The new facilities also accommodate a product design center of the brand.

“Our Applied Research Center will be the base for the development of products here in Brazil. The onsite activities range from the design of improvements in local models, emissions testing, analysis of raw materials to the development of accessories, among other duties. From now on, Toyota do Brasil will be able to contribute even more incisively in the development of future projects for the Brazilian market, always following the overall premise of the company of making ever-better cars,” said Koji Kondo, president of Toyota do Brasil.

Toyota invested R$ 46 million for the construction of the new structure within the industrial complex of its plant in São Bernardo do Campo. The unit in the ABC Paulista is responsible for manufacturing parts for the Corolla and Etios models sold in Brazil, in addition to its expertise, through forging, in the manufacture of connecting rods and crankshafts that equip the Camry and Corolla engines produced in the USA. Currently, the company’s plant in the region of Grande ABC employs 1,400 employees, divided into three shifts.

In March 2015, Toyota do Brasil had announced the completion of the initial phase of the project São Bernardo ReBorn. This was the first phase of a series of initiatives included in the revitalization plan of Toyota’s plant in São Bernardo do Campo, which consisted of the transfer of the administrative and commercial headquarters of the company from São Paulo to the ABC Paulista, opening the third shift in forging and the incorporation of the “Ecofactory” concept (reuse of rainwater, installation of solar panels, among other environmental initiatives). On the occasion, executives and employees celebrated the execution of a commitment, signed with the Union of the Metalworkers of the Region of ABC, in which the parties agreed to join forces seeking to improve the production processes of the company and increase the competitiveness of Toyota in the national and global automotive industry.

The “5 Continents Drive” Project in Brazil

The project called “5 Continents Drive” sponsored by Toyota will cover approximately 20,000 kilometers in the Latin American territory in the next three and a half months, being promoted by Toyota GAZOO Racing, a company of Toyota group focused on initiatives related to motor sports.

The project began in 2014, and is fundamental part of the global commitment of the manufacturer to make ever-better cars. The purpose of the “5 Continents Drive” is to allow engineers and employees of Toyota’s headquarters to get to know in practice the most diverse conditions of roads and pavements around the world. Based on the experience gained after driving, they start a series of technical studies to outline the challenges towards a substantial improvement on each vehicle manufactured in the five continents of the planet.

The “5 Continents Drive” project has travelled Australia and North America in 2014 and 2015, respectively. In Latin America, the starting point of the project is Brazil, leaving from the southeast region towards the Central-West and Northeast regions, featuring real tests in large urban centers, such as São Paulo, and in high places and areas where the need to use the 4x4 is taken to the extreme.

The purpose of the Brazilian leg of Toyota’s global project is to cover approximately 5,000 kilometers. More than 30 engineers and technicians of the brand in Brazil and Japan will be involved in the action.

In addition to Brazil, the Latin American group of the “5 Continents Drive” will travel to six other countries in the region: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay. The entire portfolio produced by Toyota on the continent - Corolla, Etios, Hilux and SW4 - as well as some imported models, such as the Prius hybrid, will be subjected to more rigorous durability and reliability testing by the end of the year.

Toyota’s division in Latin America and the Caribbean was created in 2013 with the appointment of Steve St. Angelo as the CEO. Since then, the company’s market share in the region jumped from 5.3% to approximately 10%.
“Today’s announcement reinforces Toyota’s commitment in relation to Brazil and the entire Latin America. The “5 Continents Drive” project will allow us to understand more deeply the real driving condition in the region. The Applied Research Center will allow us to achieve more rapid changes toward our mission to develop ever-better cars,” said Steve St. Angelo, CEO of Toyota for Latin America and the Caribbean and Chairman of Toyota do Brasil.


Toyota do Brasil Ltda. has four manufacturing units: in Indaiatuba (SP), São Bernardo do Campo (SP), Sorocaba (SP) and Porto Feliz (SP), three vehicle distribution centers, in Guaíba (RS) and Vitória (ES) and Suape (PE), a distribution center of parts in Votorantim (SP), a representation office in Brasília (DF) and over 5,700 employees. Founded in 1937, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is one of the most representative manufacturers of passenger and commercial vehicles in the world. With production in 28 countries and regions and sales in over 160 countries, the company is owner of the brands Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino. Toyota holds shares in the Stock Exchanges of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Sapporo (Japan), New York (USA) and London (UK) and currently employs more than 325,000 employees worldwide.