08/20/2012 12h28

Comil announces a new plant in Lorena, where it will invest R$ 110 million

With the support of Investe São Paulo, the company will transfer the production of urban buses from the plant of Erechim to Lorena

The bus manufacturer Comil will invest R$ 110 million in the installation of a plant dedicated to the production of urban vehicles in Lorena, Vale do Paraíba (SP). The announcement of the investment, which was attended by Governor Geraldo Alckmin was held this Tuesday, July 24, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the company’s general director, Sílvio Calegaro and the president of Investe São Paulo, Luciano Almeida. The event was also attended by the Deputy Secretary of Economic Development, Science and Technology of the State, Luis Carlos Quadrelli, the mayor of Lorena, Paulo César Neme, and the chairman of the board of Comil, Deoclécio Corradi.

“A great achievement in a moment of fragility in the global economy, a new plant, which has already started the earthworks and will be operating next year. Cutting-edge technology, national company, among the three major bus manufacturers in Brazil,” said Alckmin.

The plant, which will generate 500 direct jobs and one thousand indirect jobs, will have a production capacity of 20 urban buses/day and should be concluded in mid-2013. Machinery, equipment and working capital will be made possible with the company’s funds and BNDES.

With the new operation, Comil will transfer the production of urban buses from the plant of Erechim (RS) to Lorena and will increase its production capacity in more than 100% in relation to this type of vehicle. “They chose well, Lorena is one of the best corners of Brazil. São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, a very well prepared workforce, engineering center, technical and technological education, the entire infrastructure. A major undertaking for Vale do Paraíba,” said the governor.

With the expansion, the company will be ready to absorb the growth in demand for buses up to 2016, driven by major events such as the World Cup and the Olympics, which will require improvements in passenger transportation in the big cities. “The support of Investe SP, State Government agency, was essential for us to choose Lorena. And the city also chose us, doing a great job so that we could settle in the city,” said Calegaro.

The new plant will be settled in an area of 210 thousand square meters in Vale do Paraíba, next to Presidente Dutra highway. The qualification of the local workforce will be conducted by Comil in partnership with Senai in Lorena. The courses are focused on the preparation of new workers, enabling the professional development.

In addition to the city’s Etec (Technical School), which has courses that will assist in the training of professionals such as logistics, marketing and occupational safety, Via Rápida Emprego (Public Employment Program) also provides for the region several options focused on the service, transportation, industry, trade and construction sectors. “More than 2000 jobs are available for the cities of Vale do Paraíba, 90 of them in Lorena,” said Quadrelli.

A privileged location
A number of factors led the company to set the investment in Lorena. The main one was the privileged location of the city, close to three major urban centers of Brazil, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, which account for nearly 60% of total purchases of buses to transport people in the cities. “We need to be closer to the business center of the country and to chassis manufacturers and customers, as most of them are located in the Southeastern states, so that we can achieve logistics and competitiveness gains,” says Calegaro.

The availability and qualification of the local workforce have also been specially considered. Calegaro highlights the efficiency and interest of the state government and the municipality of Lorena to attract the investment. “The State and the municipality had a key role in the decision to come to São Paulo, opening doors for positive negotiations for the company and the community,” said the director of Comil.

Investe São Paulo - Agência Paulista de Promoção de Investimentos e Competitividade - is advising the company in order to obtain an adequate infrastructure to the plant and support for tax and environmental demands. For the president of Investe SP, by choosing Lorena, Comil will be playing a key role in the development of the city. “Vale do Paraíba has a vocation towards the automotive sector. Several cities in the region are able to receive an investment like this, but for the state, it is crucial that cities with low IPRS, as is the case of Lorena, which has IPRS 5, welcome new companies, generating jobs and income for the population,” says Almeida.

Prepared by Fundação Seade, the Paulista Index of Social Responsibility (IPRS) orders the 645 municipalities of São Paulo according to three dimensions: income, education and longevity. The cities ranked in group 5 are characterized with low levels of wealth, longevity and education.

The plant of Comil was designed to produce high quality urban vehicles equipped with an innovative manufacturing system, says Sílvio Calegaro. “We studied this project for over two years. All processes were optimized and the potential losses were identified and eliminated. “The production line of the new plant includes the urban models Svelto and Svelto Midi.

With the transfer of the urban bus production to Lorena, the company’s plant in Erechim (RS) will have greater focus on the production of coaches, a market where the company grew 40% last year alone, totaling 1,798 vehicles, and estimates a further evolution from the increase of sales of all buses of Campione line and innovative launches. In January this year, Comil introduced its first coach “double decker”, the Campione DD, designed to transport high standard passengers.

About Comil
Comil is one of the main manufacturers of buses in Brazil. Headquartered in Erechim (RS), it produces coaches, intercity models, minibuses and special buses that travel throughout Brazil and in more than 30 countries. In the year when it completed 25 years of operation, Comil celebrated its result, pointed as the best of the sector in 2011. The company increased its sales volume and production by 27% in the period, increasing from 3200 units in 2010 to 4100 buses in 2011, according to data compiled by the National Association of Bus Manufacturers (Fabus).

According to the company, the market, as a whole, grew 9% last year. The gross revenue for the period totaled R$ 595.46 million. Exports totaled 14% of the company’s revenues, placing Comil in a new development stage. Its industrial park of 40 thousand square meters, has a production capacity of approximately 4500 units/year. The company is constantly working with new processes and technologies and develops specific models according to the market needs. It employs approximately 2800 people and has as one of its principles the recognition of its employees, always focusing on health and safety. It has a multidisciplinary team of professionals motivated to seek new challenges. It offers various programs that support growth and qualification of the employees, with ongoing investments in training.

The company invests in the training of young people, with an eye in training future professionals of the industry. In March 2011, it inaugurated the Professional Education Center, in partnership with Senai, which offers free courses of vehicle assembly for teenagers from 16 years old. The course lasts two years. The students who participate in the course receive a grant of half a minimum wage to help in the costs. The company seeks young people who are committed to work and Comil, since the intention is that they can all be hired in the future. Whoever is older than 18 years old can work in the industry in a different shift to attend the course. The center has classrooms, laboratories and equipment required for the development of the practical activities, which simulate the assembly of vehicles.

In 2009, it ceased to be a limited company and became a privately held corporation, Comil Ônibus S.A. It adopted the principles of Corporate Governance and has been prominent in the financial sector for conducting systematic meetings with banks and financial institutions to report its results.

Bus models produced:
Road: Campione DD, Campione HD 4.05, Campione 3.65, Campione 3.45, Campione 3.25 and Versátile

Urban: Svelto, Svelto Midi, Svelto Piso Baixo and Doppio

Micro: Piá Urbano, Piá Rodoviário, Piá Escolar and Piá Saúde