Yearly, 179 Hyundai dealerships vie for the title “Distributor of the Year”. Brazil’s CAOA Group earned that title recently. This is the first time a distributor outside of Europe has been so honored.
In 1979 CAOA Group’s founder Dr. Carlos Alberto De Oliveira Andrade (Dr. Carlos) put money down on a new Ford. Before Dr. Carlos could take possession of his car the dealership went out of business. Dr. Carlos sought and received ownership of the dealership as compensation for his lost down payment. Suddenly, the respected physician was in the business of selling cars.
CAOA continued on as a Ford dealership. Within six years CAOA was the largest distributor of Fords not just in Brazil but in all of Latin America.
Before they began selling Hyundais in 1999 CAOA had added Renaults and Subarus to their inventory. During that period Renaults accounted for one-fifth of all cars sold in Brazil. After Renault canceled CAOA’s franchise one-ninth of cars sold in Brazil were Renaults. Dr. Carlos’ dealership increased total Subaru sales in Brazil threefold. Today, Hyundai is Brazil’s highest selling imported vehicle.
In 2007 Dr. Carlos Alberto De Oliveira Andrade spent $600 million dollars of his own money to build a Hyundai manufacturing facility in Anápolis, Brazil. That achievement garnered Dr. Carlos IstoÉ Dinheiro Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year in Industry” award. Carlos Alberto De Oliveira Andrade chose the Anápolis site because it is centrally located to receive imported production components and export the plant’s finished product.
The manufacturer that Dr. Carlos built has received other accolades. IstoÉ Dinheiro magazine declared the Hyundai plant a “Good Doer Company”. That distinction recognizes the way the factory manages waste and contributes to reforestation. For three consecutive years, “Carta Capital” a weekly magazine has given the plant “Most Admired” status.
In 2014 the JD Power Institute ranked the CAOA Hyundai dealership first in client satisfaction. Recently, a Research and Energy Efficiency Center (CPEE) was added to the CAOA factory. CPEE is the most comprehensive facility of its kind in Latin America. The $40.3 million research center was built entirely with money from CAOA.