Simca do Brasil
|Fate||merged into Chrysler do Brasil|
|Successor||Chrysler do Brasil|
|Defunct||1966 taken over by Chrysler,|
brand extinguished in favour of Dodge brand in 1969
|Key people||Henri Théodore Pigozzi, Simca founder and investor, Paulo Macedo Gontijo, general manager upon the Company's foundation, Jacques Jean Pasteur, followed as general manager and streamlined manufacturing process, Sebastião Dayrell da Lima, the Company's first president.|
|Products||Simca Chambord Tufão, Simca Alvorada, Simca Profissional, Simca Présidence, Simca Jangada, Simca Regente, Simca Esplanada, Simca GTX|
|Parent||Founded with capital from Simca, France, later taken over by Chrysler, USA|
Simca do Brasil was a subsidiary of the now defunct French automaker Simca and started out in the late 1950s assembling the Simca Vedette imported in kit form from France and selling it in three versions, the Chambord, Présidence and Rallye. Later the Company manufactured the radically restyled Esplanada with improved engines and, with increasing control by the Chrysler Group over the French concern, was taken over by the American car giant as majority share holder. During its ten years of market presence Simca defended its market share against fierce competition from Volkswagen, Ford, Chevrolet and Willys. The brand disappeared from the Brazilian Market in the late 1960s following a strategic decision by its owners Chrysler.
Simca do Brasil was founded on the 5th of May 1958 in the City of Belo Horizonte, capital of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, as a result of Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek efforts to lure foreign car companies to pioneer this market with huge potential through tempting fiscal advantages.
Simca do Brasil initially imported kits of the Simca Vedette supplied by the French Simca HQ and had them assembled in their facilities in São Bernardo do Campo (State of São Paulo}, where the administration would move to later on, and Rio de Janeiro. The first car left the assembly line in 1959 but was plagued with enormous problems due to the 480 strong, but totally unexperienced workforce.
From assembling to manufacturing
Meanwhile Simca do Brasil imported all the tools and machinery to start its own production and was busy recruiting 980 local OEM parts suppliers to transform the Simca Chambord, Présidence and Rallye models into true Brazilian made cars because of Brazilian government demands in exchange for the benefits granted so far. But the huge problems faced on a daily basis at the assembly line threatened to put the future manufacturing site in severe doubts.
A crisis broke out and Simca do Brasil threatened to become paralyzed by the growing problems. Simca France, having invested heavily in their Brazilian offspring, then sent their top engineer Jacques Jean Pasteur to Brazil not only to streamline the production but to actually run the entire operation. By 1961 Pasteur had successfully addressed the issues and cars were being built with 98% of parts from national suppliers.
Chrysler takes over
In the second half of 1966 Chrysler took over as majority shareholder and from August 1967 onwards cars left the production line with a small badge at the rear, saying “fabricado pela Chrysler” (built by Chrysler) sending out the message of the takeover by the American car brand but the well established Simca name remained on for another two years. Finally, in 1969, the Simca name was laid to rest as the Americans re-introduced one of their internationally renowned brand names by launching the Dodge Dart on the Brazilian market.
- Simca Chambord (Brazilian model)
- Simca Alvorada
- Simca Profissional
- Simca Rallye
- Simca Présidence (Brazilian model)
- Simca Jangada
- Simca Esplanada
- Simca Regente
- Simca Tufão
- Simca GTX
"Automóveis Brasileiros" by author Enio Brandenburg, FBVA, Rio de Janeiro - Brasil
"The Automobile in South America - The Origins (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay , Uruguay)" by author Álvaro Casal Tatlock, FBVA, Rio de Janeiro - Brasil
"Automóveis de São Paulo" by author Malcom Forest, FBVA, Rio de Janeiro - Brasil