Acoustic company sounds out new Brazil factory

Posted on 11 Feb 2013

TMAT, a manufacturer of acoustic components for tractors and excavators, is planning to open a factory in Brazil.

The Chesterfield-based company plans to open a factory in Brazil while construction work accelerates in the lead up to both the 2014 football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

Its customers include Case, New Holland Tractors, JCB and Volvo.

The Brazilian Association of Technology for Equipment and Maintenance says that Brazil aims to complete 12,265 new infrastructure projects by 2016. The country wants to show it can execute large civil projects, as the government seeks to deploy an ambitious R$955bn (£306bn) investment plan in new roads, ports, airports and power plants, with the help of foreign investors.

Tractors and excavation equipment will be in heavy demand. The Brazilian government wants products that are sourced locally rather than from abroad, and last year JCB opened a new factory to manufacture its signature back hoe loader at Sorocaba in São Paulo state. Now other suppliers such as TMAT are going to Brazil.

Jason Lippitt, TMAT’s managing director, said: “The existing customers and other OEMs we’ve spoken to about our plans have been very excited, in light not only of the opportunities in Brazil but also of the red tape they have encountered when trying to do business there.

“We’ve had a very positive initial meeting with DTI [Department of Trade and Industry]. The next stage will be for me to head out to Brazil in March for exploratory meetings. All being well, we should be able to move ahead at the end of the first quarter.

Despite the recession, TMAT has done well in recent years. Turnover has risen from £5m in 2009 to more than £10m last year and TMAT aims to reach £20 million by 2015.

The firm designs and engineers systems to reduced noise and vibration for ACE (agricultural, construction, earthmoving) markets.

Mr Lippitt added “We will be retaining all engineering design and intellectual property at our Chesterfield site, and the Brazil opportunity could well create more UK jobs as our work in Brazil generates more demand upon specialist engineering resources.”