March 2 marked the opening of the new Case-New Holland Industrial Complex in Latin America.

The facility includes a Case IN factory and a modern CNH Parts Logistics and Distribution Center and is located in the city of Sorocaba (SP). The opening of this industrial complex is expected to generate 3,000 direct jobs, and up to 6,000 including indirect jobs in the region in two years, when the factory reaches full production capacity.

The project required an investment of $1 billion and is part of the Fiat Group investment plan for the years 2007-2011 announced in November 2006 by Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Group CEO, during a meeting with investors. With this factory, the Fiat Group significantly increases its operation in the state of São Paulo and it is also the biggest, single machine industry investment in the history of the country.

The objective is to increase agricultural and construction machine production, which today takes place at the Curitiba (PR), Piracicaba (SP) and Contagem (MG) facilities, and to manufacture components for machines produced at other company locations in Brazil. The Sorocaba factory will produce equipment to supply the domestic market, as well as exporting to other Latin American countries and more than 50 countries around the world.

"Sorocaba is going to produce agricultural and construction machines that are part of the world platform of the two brands. It will allow us to increase our production to better serve the agricultural and construction markets", said Valentino Rizzioli, president of Case New Holland for Latin America and executive vice-president of the Fiat Group.

The industrial complex has a total area of 160,000 meters square (104,000 for the factory and 56,000 for the DC). It will have an annual production capacity of 8,000 units. The same site also includes the largest CNH Parts Distribution Center in Latin America. It is also one of the most modern in the Fiat Group with 56,000 meters square of built area, latest generation conveying and packing equipment, and storage capacity for 180,000 locations.

World Class in Logistics

The enterprise features the most efficient logistics and distribution systems, based on the World Class Logistics concept, and aims to reach the highest levels of excellence. The structure was designed to achieve the greatest operational speed through the whole logistics chain, from the supplier to the end customer, at over 500 points in Latin America.

Among the main pillars of World Class Logistics structuring are worker safety, excellence in customer service, continuous improvement, quality control, and work area organization.

New state-of-the-art software has been implemented to ensure the facility works with due agility and includes a new order input, planning and parts purchase system. This system integrates all the CNH parts depots in the world, ensuring greater agility in making parts available for end customers.

World class production

The factory is fully aligned with the CNH Global world production system and World Class Manufacturing, the world manufacturing system adopted by the Fiat Group.

Synonymous with high technology, the new manufacturing facility has the latest generation equipment, like laser cutting machines for steel plates of up to 25mm with automatic feeder, robotic welding stations, overhead conveyors for parts and components; as well as the most modern painting systems: immersion electrophoretic painting and low temperature acrylic painting.

Beside machines, the new plant will produce components for equipment made at other CNH units, such as the one in Piracicaba where cane harvesters are manufactured, and for export as well.

"We will have sequence manufacturing with continuous flow, which allows to produce better and faster, which favors increased competitiveness and trading high technology products for the domestic and international markets", Rizzoli adds


Construction of the factory took 18 months. During that period, Case Construction Equipment and Case IH boards already started operating at the new factory. Also, the new Parts Logistics and Distribution Center has been in operation in Sorocaba since the beginning of the year.

At present, there are more than 800 employees working in the Industrial Complex. Contracting is still going on and the forecast is to reach the workforce of 3,000 employees when this facility reaches its full production capacity. It is also expected to generate a further 4000 indirect jobs in the region.