Another sign of recovery in Brazil? Gestamp, the Spanish multinational specialising in the design, development and manufacture of metal components for the automotive industry, has set up a new hot stamping plant in Betim (Minas Gerais, Brazil).

The company has spent EUR24.9m on the new factory that will enable supply to Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) from within Brazil. The plant will supply parts for the Fiat Palio and Siena models and will be equipped with laser cutting and assembly cells to manufacture structural and body parts.

The factory, which is currently doing test runs and will be ready for mass production by summer, will employ 82 people by the end of 2017. Gestamp said the plant's stamping line reinforces its commitment to this technology in Brazil.

Loire Gestamp, the group company specialised in the design and manufacture of press lines, was commissioned to design, produce and install the hot stamping line in the new plant, which includes a 1,200-ton press. This line includes automatic connections to change tooling, thermal imaging cameras and a monitoring system.

President and CEO of Gestamp, Francisco Riberas, insisted "our commitment to the country remains intact" adding he believes "our presence in Brazil through plants currently in operation, and the new one that we are announcing now, will allow the company to grow in anticipation of the country's economic recovery".

Gestamp "hopes to achieve sustainable growth in Brazil and is looking to satisfy its customers' demands with the highest quality and technology".

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Gestamp now has 75 hot stamping lines worldwide. This technology allows for a significant reduction in the weight of the body structure, thereby reducing vehicle emissions.

Likewise, the hot stamping process improves behaviour in the event of a collision and contributes to passenger safety. Gestamp is one of the largest global providers of hot-stamped components. Its industrial model covers the whole value chain, including the manufacture of dies and press lines.

Gestamp's new plant in Brazil is its seventh in the market. The company also has an R&D Centre thewre working to lighten the weight of vehicles and to increase their safety.

The Spanish multinational is already supplying, in Brazil, General Motors, Volkswagen, Renault-Nissan, PSA, Honda, FCA and Ford as its main customers. Turnover in Brazil was EUR246m in 2016.

The Brazilian automotive market is the tenth largest worldwide. After a fall in volume since 2014, it is expected that vehicle manufacturing in the country will begin growing again from 2017. IHS forecasts 13% growth for this year.