São Paulo Landrover factory

ihana.com - big trip - diary - brasil - december 2002

 

Landy in bed with Karmann Ghia

The assembly line

Disc brakes all round

Wednesday 4 December

We arrived at an almost deserted Landy factory at 4pm. Everybody had either gone home or was on holiday but at least there was someone to show us around. The factory, really an assembly plant, is housed in the Karmann Ghia building which is still in operation doing other vehicle stuff. We parked the landy inside the gates with about 50 nice new Defenders and walked inside, passing big racks of 300 Tdi engines (called Maxion) which are made at a factory further south owned by International. The same engine was used in some Ford pick ups and a new 2.8 litre version is used in those vehicles now - a 3.0 litre version is on its way, not sure if it will ever get into the brasilian landies though. The chassis is also built in Brasil.

Dash fitted

Plus the engine...

...made by Maxion

They dont wing it

Doors

Aluminium interior

Twelve landies a day can be made, one in under an hour, but only 4 or so are made at the moment. All of the vehicles have air conditioning but a more powerful version than that used in Europe. A new Defender here is about $20,000 which is cheaper than in England but here it remains a rich mans car, parts prices are crazy - a set of front brake pads costs 60 quid compared to 15 quid in England.

The post-assembly quality control area had plenty of seemingly perfect landies having little touches applied here and there, marker pen squiggles showing tiny scratches or dings that needed to be sorted. The Brasil factory has one of the best quality records of all ckd (completely knocked down) factories. There seemed to be lots of white landies in the car park, apparently the police had stopped paying halfway through receiving a large order so they were selling them off.

Product range

Production order for a 110

How to make your Maxion last longer

One order of military 90s...

...minus doors and roofs

One well used but lots of new

We saw a huge warehouse full of an order of 90s for the armed forces. All were minus their tops and doors, the army is going to have a canvas roof and doors fitted - still, they'll be way better than the hideous Jeeps they use at the moment.

We showed our guide the landy and then the website and were left to walk out through the parts warehouse, tempting boxes full of new stuff all around...

Sticker a guy in São Paulo gave us - 'Unlock your mind, lock the box'

 

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