The boardroom of heavy vehicle maker MAN in São Paulo is decorated with a Boys’ Own collection of model trucks, soccer balls and the jerseys of local football teams.
But the toys do little to lift the mood here. Once a champion of the Brazilian corporate world with double-digit growth rates, the truck industry, like the national football team which was thrashed by Germany in last year’s World Cup, has fallen on hard times.
In the first six months of this year, truck and bus production fell 45 per cent compared with a year earlier. It is a disaster that is expected to be repeated across Latin America’s biggest economy this year.