Marcopolo, Brazil’s biggest bus body maker, will transfer bus technology to an Iveco joint venture with Changzhou Bus Company in China, writes Rogério Louro Alves.

The agreement will last for seven years and cost Iveco $US12 million for access to Marcopolo’s know-how.

“With this agreement we will learn more about the Chinese market and this experience could help us to decide to build a plant there in future”, said Marcopolo vice-president José Antonio Martins.

Marcopolo builds minibuses, town buses and touring coaches on Mercedes-Benz, Scania, Volvo and Volkswagen chassis and leads the Brazilian bus market. Apart from Brazil, the company has plants in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Portugal and South Africa.

In Mexico, Marcopolo owns 74 percent of Polomex, a joint venture with DaimlerChrysler. In South Africa, the Brazilians make buses in partnership with Scania South Africa.

Last year Marcopolo produced 13,000 buses worth $US410 million around the world.

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