GFEI addresses Brazilian Auto Conference
GFEI was invited to speak at the Brazilian Association of Automotive Engineering conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil, on 5th September 2016. The event is the leading gathering of engineers, experts, government agents, universities and opinion makers connected to the mobility in Brazil, and this year had the theme ‘Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Effect Gases: The Impacts of the Automotive Engineering Evolution’. Gianni Lopez of GFEI implementing partner Centro Mario Molina Chile addressed the conference in one of the main plenary sessions, and challenged Brazilian policy makers to go further in promoting innovation and improved vehicle fuel economy.
In recent years Brazil has substantially increased national production of vehicles, due to the INOVAR Auto Program (INOVAR), which has encouraged import substitution by domestic production. The industry produced 3.7 million vehicles in 2013, the sixth largest producer globally, thanks to 5 billion US dollars of investments in new assembling lines. INOVAR is led by the Ministry of Industry, who have promoted the investment through strong tax discounts. However, INOVAR increased production without requiring sufficient innovation or the introduction of more advanced technology. On the technology side there is a lack of knowledge in key areas of the industry, like vehicle electronic and hybrid and electric powertrains. Commercially, the country isn’t integrated with the global vehicle market, not even in Latin America.
Gianni Lopez told delegates that Brazil needs to review their position if they want to compete globally, and a clear integration between fuel economy and emission standards is needed. The good news is that fuel economy labelling will be mandatory on 2017, opening the opportunity for the adoption of a more advanced fuel economy policy, with different incentives to those included in INOVAR.