Volkswagen Group’s ongoing EUR3.4bn expenditure in Brazil up to 2016 in new products and technologies will include a new, super-efficient paint shop at the Taubaté plant with capacity to coat up to 1,300 Gol and Voyage units a day – and a second hydro-electric power plant.

“Expansion of the paint shop in Taubaté is a further milestone in the [group’s] South America strategy. Apart from increasing our production capacity we will also be achieving a significant improvement in resource efficiency”, said VW AG group production chief Michael Macht. 

The filler-less painting process, combined with a new method of collecting overspray, results in energy savings of 30% per unit while water consumption is cut by over 20%, VW said.

Investment in the paint shop alone is EUR157m.

Another EUR126m is being spent expanding capacity at São Carlos, the group’s Brazilian engine plant, hiking output from the present 3,800 units to 4,800 engines a day.

Both the EA111 internal combustion engine (ethanol-compatible flex-fuel) and new models of engine will be built in a new production hall.

Separate from its factories, Volkswagen is planning a second hydropower plant in Monjolinho/São Paolo to generate 25.5 megawatt hours at a cost of EUR66m. In 2010, VW spent about EUR58m on a hydropower plant at Anhanguera near Guará/São Paolo which generates 22.7 megawatt hours.

The two hydropower plants will mean that ‘green’ energy will account for 94% of the automaker’s energy needs in future it will generate 40% itself.