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Weekly Report - 14 January 2021 (WR-21-02)

BRAZIL: Ford factory closures add to government difficulties

US carmaker Ford’s announcement this week that it will be closing its factories in Brazil and ending all manufacturing activities there by the end of the year is a big blow to the South American giant. The exit of the US motor company, which first began operations in Brazil in 1919, is an indictment of the state of the Brazilian car manufacturing industry, while it has reignited calls for the government to address the ‘custo Brasil’ (‘Brazil cost’), the high operational costs associated with doing business in the country. Ford’s announcement, and its economic ramifications, also build up discontent with the government led by President Jair Bolsonaro, which is already facing intense criticism over the rollout of a vaccine against the coronavirus (Covid-19).   

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