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Brazil's CAOA in talks with Chinese executives to jointly bid for Ford plant

The owner of the Brazilian carmaker Grupo CAOA is in talks with Chinese business executives to jointly acquire a local Ford Motor Co. plant, Reuters reported May 13.

CAOA started negotiations for a deal with the unidentified potential Chinese investors to buy Ford's São Bernardo do Campo plant in March.

"We already met with Chinese [businessmen] that are interested in making cars with us," Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade, founder of CAOA, said after a meeting with Brazil's finance minister in Brasilia.

CAOA is in discussions for a joint venture with a Chinese manufacturer that does not currently operate in Brazil, the report added, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

"There were advanced meetings held at the Shanghai Auto Show," the source said.

CAOA is Ford's largest distributor in Brazil, and also produces vehicles in partnership with Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. and China's Chery Automobile Co. Ltd.

In February, the U.S.-based automaker announced that it will stop production of heavy trucks and Fiesta small cars at its São Bernardo do Campo plant this year, exiting the commercial truck business in South America after evaluating viable options, including possible partnerships and a sale of the operation.