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The elevator world in Brazil

An important nation, a difficult market, a world that has some assonance with Europe: here is Brazil. The brazilian elevator market reached its peak in 2014 when new installations climbed to 16,000 units, but, at present, after the 2014 Brazilian economic crisis, that number has fallen to 11,000. In 2019, the new government affirmed its commitment to market rules through economic liberalism and the approval of a new retirement system. The Brazilian gross domestic product growth forecast for 2020 predicts (not considered for the Covid 19 crisis) 2.4%, it means a great difference when compared to -3.8% in 2015 and -3.5% in 2016. Many new building projects are being developed as a result of this change. The great changes in the Brazilian elevator industry took place in 1999-2000 when overseas elevator companies purchased the most important Brazilian companies. But the crisis had a negative influence on the lift market, especially on important investors who had bet on Brazil, especially for the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games. From a demographic point of view, there are also some data that invite us to reflect on the need for a real renewal of all the elevators present in the country. Infact in 2017, the elderly population exceeded 30 million, and the prediction for 2060 indicates that a quarter of the population, about 58 million, will be senior citizens. In addition, 15% of the Brazilian population suffers some sort of disability. Federal law requires buildings to be made accessible.

In general, Brazil follows the European standards. Some of those standards are published according to the MERCOSUR trade bloc of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. They are named with the prefix “MN” (MERCOSUR Norm). Other standards are valid only in Brazil (NBR), such as the Safety Norm for Existing Lifts. An equivalent to the EN 81-20/-50 standard is coming soon and will be mandatory two years after its publication. Brazil has already adopted EN 81-28’s remote alarm equivalent (NBR 16756), but it is not yet compulsory. INTI’s ETV (Vertical Transport Test Laboratory) was established in 2012 to technically check lifting elements using the latest safety standards.

Despite the economic problems and other difficulties, AEM (MERCOSUR Lift Association) was founded in 2013 as a regional lift association that groups the main entities and other collaborators in the region. Its priorities are to:

  • Exchange relevant information among organizations
  • Defend skilled labor and technological sovereignty in the region
  • Jointly monitor commercial production and industry performance
  • Propose measures and policies to the states to promote national value
  • Tackle regional training, technology and innovation projects

There are three from Argentina: CAFAC (Argentine Chamber of Manufacturers of Elevators and Its Components), ADIMRA (Metallurgical Industry Association of Argentina) and ITEEA (Institute of Technological Studies and Lift Education). On the Brazilian side, there are three others: SECIESP (Union of Lift Maintenance and Conservation Cos. of the State of São Paulo), SECMIERJ (Union of Lift Companies of Conservation, Maintenance and Installation of Rio de Janeiro) and SECIEMG (Union of Lift Maintenance and Installation companies of Minas Gerais). Unfortunately, there are no associations in Uruguay and Paraguay.

The numbers of the Brazilian market:

  • Existing Installations 250,000
  • Population 45 million
  • New installations 3,500/year
  • New installations 85% local/ 15% international companies
  • Maintenance market share 10% international companies/90% Local SMEs
  • Number of personnel 12,000