São Paulo Governor Increases Pressure on Brazilian Distribution Company to Buy Ford Auto Factory

Situation sparks debate with American automaker

Raquel Landim Ivan Martínez-Vargas
São Paulo

The governor of São Paulo, João Doria, intensified the pressure for the Caoa group, a Brazilian auto distributor, to purchase of Ford's truck factory in São Bernardo do Campo (SP).

The situation sparked a debate with the automaker, which claims that the contract is still under discussion and complained about the repeated ongoings of the negotiation.

The weather turned sour on Monday (2) afternoon when Doria scheduled a press conference on Tuesday (3) at the Bandeirantes Palace to announce the future of the factory at ABC.

The governor of Brazil's Sao Paulo state Joao Doria is seen during a news conference regarding Ford Motor Co's closure of its Sao Bernardo do Campo plant and ending heavy truck manufacturing in South America, in Sao Paulo Brazil February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli - REUTERS

People close to the subject say press conference was scheduled without warning Ford. South American automaker president Lyle Watters eventually agreed to attend but did not comment. He and his team left without answering questions.

After an hour's delay, Tuesday's event lasted only 30 minutes. Doria limited the questions. Of the journalists present, only four were able to ask questions, which were directed by the governor to the president of Caoa's board of directors, Carlos Alberto Oliveira Andrade.

As the report found, Doria's initial idea was to disclose the deal even with a few pending points, but American Ford objected.

At the news conference, Caoa said it intends to do due diligence on the factory, which is a detailed investigation of the numbers. Informally, however, this has been done since April.

The formal announcement of due diligence, however, adds pressure because these processes have time to end. Doria has even stated that the matter can be concluded by October.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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