CAOA was founded by businessman Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade in 1979, and is nowadays a leader when it comes to the Brazilian automobile industry, extending their reach and being present in every region of the country. The company has Hyundai, Subaru, and Ford dealerships, and has been the sole importer of Subaru and Hyundai vehicles in Brazil since the late 90s. In close to 4 decades since its inception, CAOA sold over a million vehicles on the Brazilian market.
Early in August of 2018, Boris Feldman, a journalist who has specialized in vehicles and motor racing since 1996, and is the host of “Car Talk”, talked about Carlo Alberto de Oliveira Andrade, pointing to an older interview that he conducted with the businessman back in 2012. The journalist quoted excerpts from 2012, mentioning the fact that besides importing and selling automobiles, CAOA also invested heavily in setting up a factory in Anapolis. They have a license from Hyundai to manufacture HR and HD78 trucks, and they also assemble an older model of Tucson, and have been, at that time, preparing to produce the new iX35. In addition, the 2012 article mentioned that Dr. Carlos had a dream to make a fully Brazilian car.
Dr. Carlos stated back then that CAOA has a design agency located in Italy and that the yare creating a new body for the Tucson. He pointed out that he is negotiating with Fiat in order to give CAOA a national engine with which to equip the new car. The owner of CAOA declared that he is taking a page from the Korean playbook, pointing out the fact that Koreans started manufacturing and copying products of Japan, and then later on they started developing their own Korean cars.
6 years since the interviews, the journalist Boris Feldman believes that Dr. Carlos is rewriting the history of the automobile industry in Brazil, given the fact that the country never had a big national factory. He also believes that CAOA did not copy the Koreans, but in fact went further, taking over Chery’s operation in the country in 2017, keeping the Chinese as their partners, and continuing to manufacture his models in Anapolis and Jacarei, where they produce Hyundai models.