Design in Brazil: overcoming exchange rate pressure and increasing exports with innovation
Despite the devaluation of the dollar is affecting the competitiveness of Brazilian industry — especially manufacturing — companies such as Marcopolo, Anatomic Gel and Inova Electronic Systems have managed to maintain their level of exports and to increase sales to other countries to invest in innovation, refinement and reduction of production costs.
Marcopolo, the largest manufacturer of bus bodies in the country, provides for the second straight year of growth in exports. In 2010, the company sold 2,486 units overseas, an increase of 13% over 2009. This year, the forecast is an increase of 10%.
“Being able to grow on an international stage like today is cause for celebration,” says export director, Rodrigo Pikussa. “If the cost would allow Brazil and we were more competitive, we could export much more.”
The Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Development show that total exports of Brazil by bus have a tendency to fall this year. The number of vehicles sold out the first semester was 18% lower than the same period last year.
The heating of the market and biarticular articulated buses, road and luxury models in countries of South America Marcopolo has helped to maintain its presence abroad. But to remain competitive internationally, the company has invested in the use of alternative materials, and especially in processes to reduce their production costs, including the expansion of factories in other countries.
“No other company has a diversified and flexible production as on tight deadlines to meet the demands of customers,” says the director.
Today, the company has factories in Brazil, India, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa, Argentina, Colombia and China. After the financial crisis, however, the company stopped sending bodies disassembled for units of other countries and started to use components from local suppliers.
“To be competitive, decreasing the dependence on other units of Brazilian plants,” said Pikussa. “In terms of complete units, exports are now equal to or greater than 2008.”
The manufacturer of men’s shoes Anatomic Gel now allocate 50% of its production abroad with the focus on differentiated products and more sophisticated. The company now sells to over 30 countries, including China, the world largest manufacturers of shoes and shoe industry‘s biggest competitor in Brazil.
“Our difference is that we work focused on comfort. Our shoes are made with materials of the highest quality, with sheepskin lining and rubber sole gel. In Europe, we are the third best-selling brand in the segment comfort, “says Jose Jacometi Rosa, owner of the company, located in Franca (SP).
Last year the company exported 140,000 pairs – an increase of more than 20% over 2009. “This year will be between 150 thousand and 160 thousand pairs,” estimates Jacometi. “We have participated in international fairs and always appears a new customer, especially the Middle East.”
To grow in international markets is necessary to build a strong brand and offer something different to do the same if not worth competing ”
The big jump in overseas sales took place five years after the company set up a distribution office in London, with a fixed stock. “Now we can respond immediately to requests from our customers in Europe, including the small,” he explains.
“To grow in international markets is necessary to build a strong brand and offer something different to do the same if not worth competing,” says Jacometi.
Inova Electronic Systems went on to conquer overseas markets and compete directly with Chinese companies in Latin America to invest in the development of advanced technologies, automation of production and post-sales.
“Chinese manufacturers delivers products on a large scale, but has no post-sale. And this is one of our big differentiation. In addition to offering easy maintenance products, we develop a network of accredited service in markets where we enter, “said Cleber Bonatto, commercial manager at Inova.
To stand out from the competition and earn customer preference, the company has invested in creating new products with high technology, internal development of all hardware and software of your portfolio in production automation and simplification of components, and supply equipment integrated in the same communication network.
“The dollar is a serious problem because it leaves the Brazilian products less competitive. But we have worked on improving internal processes to gain productivity, we are entering new countries and managed to lower our costs by negotiating with vendors, “says Bonatto.
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