In January 1981, two months after buying Chrysler Motors of Brazil, the company brought to market the E 13, the first alcohol-fueled truck in Brazil. Afterwards, in 1984, the first large vehicle fueled by methane/biogas, the VW 140 arrived. Exports began in the following year, and in 1993, the first bus chassis, the Volksbus 16.180 came to the market.
However, it was in November 1996, with the opening of the plant in the city of Resende, in the south of Rio de Janeiro state, that Volkswagen Trucks and Buses made a great leap in technology and administration. Customers recognized the development of the business and recognized it, on its 20th anniversary, as the largest truck manufacturer in Brazil. It is the company that has most grown recently.
Although there are more than 25 years of history, there is a half-century of tradition. Everything began in 1958, with the establishment of Simca of Brazil. In 1966, Chrysler bought 92% of the shares of this company. Three years later, there was the opening of Dodge truck plant and the launching of D 700 model which was the highlight of the period. Volkswagen began to participate in the control of the company starting in January 1979, in a process that ended with the formal launching of Volkswagen Trucks Ltda in February 1981.
The Resende plant was the important development in this history of growth. Since the official beginning of operations in the plant in 1996, Volkswagen’s participation in the truck market doubled. Today, the company offers the domestic market truck models that range from light trucks to super heavy models as well as bus chassis for urban, charter and intercity use. These are also exported to more than 40 countries. In addition, the plant has become a worldwide reference with the creation of the Volkswagen World Center for Development of Trucks and Buses, a research center developed in Resende. The new plant and the Development Center brought an evolution which was so important that, in the last few years, the know-how acquired in Brazil has been applied to plants opened in Mexico and South Africa.