RIO DE JANEIRO – Amsia Motors, an automotive group financed by Arab investors, signed a protocol of intentions Thursday with the government of the northeastern Brazilian state of Sergipe, pledging to invest 1 billion reais ($450 million) to build an auto plant.
The agreement was signed in Aracaju, the state capital, by Amsia president Mustafa Ahmed and one of the company’s main investors, Saudi Prince Faisal Al Saud.
Sergipe acting Gov. Jackson Barreto and the state’s economic development secretary, Saumineo Nascimento, took part in the ceremony.
The plant, Amsia Motors’ first in Brazil, will be built in the Aracaju suburb of Barra dos Coqueiros.
It also will be the first plant owned by Amsia, a group that works with joint-venture manufacturing partners, several based in China, to make SUVs, trucks and buses.
The project will involve the construction of a plant to manufacture hybrid and electric vehicles and is expected to create 4,000 direct jobs, according to a statement by the Sergipe state government.
Sergipe authorities say the construction phase will be completed in roughly 14 months.
Still under discussion are some tax incentives to be granted to the project and the source of financing. The funding could come from either Brazil’s BNDES state development bank or the Superintendency for the Development of the Northeast.
Though virtually unknown in Brazil, Amsia believes it can secure a foothold in the world’s fourth-largest car market by offering vehicles priced 30 percent less than other models manufactured in the South American country. EFE