GEHC expands its footprint to South America, opening its first manufacturing facility in Contagem, Brazil.
South America*, and Brazil in particular, is a region of increasing focus for GE. GE CEO Jeff Immelt recently announced that the location of the next Global Research Center (GRC) will be in Brazil, which is a testament to the importance of this region. Brazil is one of four focus countries in GE’s globalization process, which also includes Russia, India and China.
Brazil and South America are also of critical importance to GE Healthcare’s future. On Thursday, June 22 senior leaders and government officials gathered in Brazil, to inaugurate GE Healthcare’s first plant in South America. For the last several years GE Healthcare has envisioned and laid the groundwork to establish a manufacturing facility to serve both the local market of Brazil and eventually all of Latin America**. According to Claudia Goulart, president and CEO of GE Healthcare for Latin America, “This is a plant that already comes with the legacy of GE quality. Above all, it allows us to align ourselves with our commitment to Brazil, to the Latin America region and to the healthcare market in general.”
This plant, located in Contagem, Brazil, just outside of Belo Horizonte, is a $50 million investment over the next 10 years. It is expected to bring over 700 jobs to the region through new employees, additional indirect resources (i.e., suppliers), distributors and new service personnel. This is a great example of a project that is not only good for GE, but also one that supports the local region with new employment opportunities.
The Brazil plant was established with a focus around healthymagination. One of the products which will be manufactured there will be the DF-R x-ray system, a healthymagination certified product, which will increase access and reduce costs for the people of Brazil. In addition, the facility has manufacturing capabilities for mammography and remanufacturing of a number of diagnostic imaging products. In the future, the plant will expand manufacturing to include PET, CT, MRI and monitoring systems.
The Brazilian healthcare market is currently worth $600 million, and the entire Latin America region is worth $2 billion. Both markets are growing at a rate of 8% a year. Having a plant in this region is a turning point for GE Healthcare and will accelerate growth, while continuing to realize the ‘in country, for country’ business strategy.
The future is bright for GE and GE Healthcare in Brazil and South America. It is sure to be brighter with the opening of the new GE GRC facility in 2013. Having a research center co-located with other GE plants will help with future product development providing an increase in quality and access, while reducing costs … taking healthymagination to the people of South America, creating better health for more people.
* South America includes all the countries south of the Panama Canal
** Latin America includes all countries south of the United States