BNDES has approved a R600.5mn (US$315mn) financing for Fiat Automveis to develop products such as new Punto and Palio car models, and to improve production processes. The development bank’s contribution represents 50% of the project’s total investment. As well as funding product development, BNDES hopes the funds will help generate jobs in the Minas Gerais state.
Brazil accounts for 15% of Fiat’s global revenue, second only to the Italian market. The plant in Betim is the only development centre for vehicles outside Italy.
Fiat employs about 31,000 staff in 15 plants across Brazil. In addition to vehicles, the company manufactures construction and agriculture-related equipment, electronic components and other products.