SAO JOSE DOS PINHAIS, BRAZIL — The 13 automotive part firms at VW/Audi's supplier zone make up Brazil's first automotive business park.
The park encompasses 731/2 acres adjacent to the automakers' assembly plant, and has separate entrances for employees, visitors and cargo operations. Finished goods are sent to the auto assembly plant via a restricted, half-mile-long route.
The project was inspired by U.S. and European business parks that offer a common infrastructure to reduce the cost of shared basic services, such as cafeteria, ambulatory, maintenance, transportation and security systems.
``We set up a single ambulatory which costs, per month, one-fifth of the expense if we had to fund our own medical station,'' said Andre Ramos, human resources manager at Johnson Controls do Brasil Automotive Ltda.
The supplier zone was developed by Sao Paulo, Brazil-based construction firm Walter Torre Jr. Construtora Ltda. at a cost of about US$37 million. In return, the construction firm is responsible for leasing space in the park for a 25-year period, said technical director Francisco Cacador.
Still in its finishing stage, the business park was constructed on a ``build-to-suit'' basis. The park currently features about 910,000 square feet of constructed area.