Innovation Policy of the Brazilian Automotive Industry: a comparison with Germany

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Volume Bachelor, p.24 (2021)


autonomous vehicles, Brazilian automotive industry, electric vehicles, German automotive industry, High-Tech Strategy, industry 4.0, innovation, INOVAR-AUTO, Research and development, Rota 2030


 Over the years, several public policies to encourage the automotive sector have been implemented in Brazil. These policies aimed at the development of the sector in the country, but ended up facing problems, mainly of an economic nature, not achieving full success. Thus, Brazil has difficulties in changing its position in the world automotive industry scenario, where the country is responsible for the final manufacture, without autonomy for the creation of new technologies. The possibility of changing this context is linked to investments in the areas of innovation and R&D, themes addressed in recent public policies, such as Inovar-Auto and Rota 2030.
The objective of this work is to compare the structure of incentives for innovation in Brazil and Germany, in the automotive industry, to better understand their challenges and opportunities, in an industry that has been going through constant changes in recent years. When drawing this parallel, it is possible to see that while in Germany there is an integrated network of agents, with an exchange of knowledge between the participating groups, in Brazil this is not yet consolidated. The investments are specific, mainly in projects of large automakers.
To investigate the differences and similarities between innovation in the automotive sector, in these two countries, an exploratory research was carried out based on secondary data. The literature review supported the comparison of data, such as investments and incentives to R&D. The consolidated reports on the automotive sector in the Brazilian and German contexts refer to the period 2011-2017.
The first step was to contextualize the history of innovation in the automotive sector in Brazil and Germany. Then, the current innovative policies were presented, in Brazil, the Inovar-Auto, and the Rota 2030, coordinated by the Ministério da Indústria, Comércio Exterior e Serviço [Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade, and Services] and in Germany, the High-Tech Strategy, coordinated by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung [Federal Ministry of Education and Research]. Finally, innovation indicators were compared, analyzing information from research centers, universities, and governments, to understand how these policies affect the technological development of the automotive sector in both countries.
In addition, analyzes were carried out on the following items: R&D expenses in the Brazilian and German automotive sectors; source of funding for enterprise R&D in the automotive sector and enterprise R&D spending on total automotive sector revenue, which shows the percentage of capital spent in R&D on the net profit of the sector for 2011 and 2017.
In the analyzed period, it is interesting to note that in both countries, the main source of R&D financing is the private sector, carried out by the company itself or through partnerships with other companies. However, the investment in R&D made by Germany grew in absolute and percentage values, in comparison with the total revenue of the sector. In Brazil, the resources were directed towards the expansion of the industrial park and the application in the so-called incremental innovations, made in existing products. One of the justifications lies in the fact that Germany has a consolidated industrial structure, which contributes to the resources to be emitted in large part, in disruptive innovations, that is, innovations that can transform a sector or market.
In this sense, the creation of an adequate environment, with the necessary conditions for better performance in Brazil, involves encouraging the areas of teaching and research, greater interaction between agents (companies, suppliers, universities, and research centers), and change in the investment culture, with greater supervision and control of the money made available. Changing the level of Brazil in innovation and development without an automotive segment, will not happen overnight, it will be a long-term process. The definition of clear guidelines, which often involves different segments of society in the process of building and managing the knowledge of the local industry, can guarantee the establishment of perennial bases for the constant development of the country. Brazil goes through the institution of a development plan, not of a single government, but of a State policy, with a strategic plan that prioritizes, the role of each of the agents and, mainly, the results that must be achieved.

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