General Motors São Caetano do Sul, São Paulo, Brazil Plant
The General Motors São Caetano do Sul facility, official known as Complexo Industrial de GM en São Caetano do Sul, is located in São Caetano do Sul, Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was GM’s first factory in Brazil and currently produces various Chevrolet vehicles for the Brazilian and South American markets.
- Year opened: August 1930
- Vehicle assembly
- Logistics center (to supply plant)
- Tech center
- Facility size:
- Plant: 290,000 m2
- Logistics center: 30,000 m2
- Tech center: unknown
Av. Goiás, 1805 – Santa Paula
São Caetano do Sul – SP
- Telefone: +55 800 702 4200
- Employee information:
- 10,598 as of 2010 (plant)
- GM Brazil has a total of 22,894 employees
- 250,000 vehicles produced (when operating at three shifts)
- 200,000 vehicles produced (when operating at two shifts)
- Logistics center: 1.4 million components shipped daily
The GM São Caetano do Sul factory produces the following vehicles for the Brazilian and South American markets:
- Chevrolet Cobalt
- Chevrolet Montana
- Chevrolet Cruze Sedan
- Chevrolet Cruze Hatch
- Chevrolet Spin
Now-discontinued vehicles produced at the plant included:
- Chevrolet Opala
- Chevrolet Monza
- Chevrolet Omega
- Chevrolet Vectra
- Chevrolet Corsa
- Chevrolet Kadett
- Chevrolet Astra
- August 1930: plant officially inaugurated, providing a much-needed facility to manufacture vans. Prior to the inauguration of the São Caetano do Sul plant, GM operated out of rented sheds and houses in the Ipiranga neighborhood in the city of São Paulo.
- 1934: the first bus with a wooden body leaves the factory.
- 1930s: industry consolidated in the São Caetano do Sul region, adding a growing number of houses, streets and neighborhoods where a large number of workers lived. The place became a municipality, emancipated in 1948. Prior to this, it was mostly uninhabited.
- 1939 – 1945: during World War II, GM participated in the military effort by producing vehicles and war material, producing over 2,000 gas-powered vehicles for civilian use.
- 1948: in the post-war years, buses became high in demand, as the country’s mass transportation needs grew. GM produced the first bus with an all-metal body in 1948. At that time, the country had a fleet of 500,000 vehicles — an average of one for every 100 people.
- 1956: GM begins pioneering truck nationalization program.
- 1968: the first Chevrolet passenger car produced in Brazil, the Chevrolet Opala four-door, rolls off the line. The factory underwent several renovations to make this possible.
- 1979: plant celebrates the production of the 1.5 millionth vehicle in September.
- 1982: plant begins manufacturing the Chevrolet Monza. A few years later, the model became the best-selling model nationally for consecutive years, a feat that has never been reached by any other car company to this day.
- 1992: after 23 uninterrupted years of production and almost 1 million units produced, the Opala is discontinued in April 1992, giving rise to the Omega. This same year, the plant began its industrial wastewater treatment plant for oil.
- 1993: during a visit from General Motors Corporation President and CEO Jack Smith Jr. in November, GM celebrates the production of the 5 millionth Chevrolet, a Vectra GSi sports edition.
- 1998: with the Kadett discontinued, the plant begins to make the Astra and Vectra. The Astra had a particularly long run, being in production until 2011.
- 2008: factory was expanded, resulting in the hiring of more employees for a third production shift.
- 2010-2011: the factory goes through a major overhaul, begins manufacturing the new Montana, Cobalt, and Cruze Sedan.
- 2012: Spin and Cruze hatch begin production at the plant.
- 2014: complex reaches 6 million cars produced, a historic milestone for General Motors in South America.
- 2015: GM completes 90 years in Brazil in January and inaugurates the new logistics center (MASC).
- 2015: complex celebrates 85th birthday on August 12th, becoming Brazil’s longest-running factory in the automotive sector.
GM invested $3 billion in its Brazil operations between 2008 and 2012. The automaker has increased sales in Brazil by 50,000 vehicles per year over the five years leading up to 2011, and posted record sales of 657,724 vehicles in 2010.
In 2015, the São Caetano do Sul plant underwent its most recent expansion by adding a new logistics center for receiving and sequencing of productive materials. Officially called Centro Logístico de Recebimento e Sequenciamento de Materiais Produtivos in Portuguese and abbreviated MASC, the new logistics center uses innovative management techniques in the automobile industry with the purpose of increasing productivity.
The new building housing the new logistics center occupies an area of 30,000 m² and daily moves about 1.4 million components, including finished pieces and to supply the local assembly line.
The new component storage and supply center has twice the storage capacity compared to the previous one and also has a more efficient material handling system. This combination of these factors makes São Caetano do Sul’s MASC the most modern of its kind at GM and serves as a model for the company’s future units in the world.
It took about three years to complete the center, with the work being completed without interrupting the production. Both the demolition of the old building and the construction of GM’s new logistics center were performed with sustainability in mind.
The Institute of Technological Research (IPT), which is linked to the São Paulo State Development Secretariat, gave full approval of the deconstruction phase, enabling waste to be recycled and used in constructing the new building, thereby reducing the impact on the environment.
The technical center provides design, development and validation to bring vehicles to market such as the Onix, Prisma, Cobalt, and Spin, among others.
The facility has the capacity to completely develop new vehicles, with it being one of
four three (after the sale of Opel) GM centers worldwide capable of creating and developing a vehicle.