For the first time since it became affiliated to the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d'Automobile (OICA), some 50 years ago, Brazilian automakers' group Anfavea was invited to join the board of the international body. Head Jackson Schneider took his seat as one of the nine vice-presidents in a ceremony in Washington DC late in September.

For Schneider, "the invitation is an acknowledgement of the importance of the Brazilian auto industry and not just by sheer production numbers or local market size. The advancements in the field of renewable fuels have placed the group of automakers established here among the main centres of focus in the world".

In 2006, Brazil climbed one step higher in the global ranking and became the eighth largest producer of light and heavy vehicles. This year production will be close to 3m units, taking the country to seventh place in 2008.

Oica was founded in 1919, in Paris, where it is based. Its affiliates represent 43 countries and regions (including ACEA).

Fernando Calmon