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FNM (Fábrica Nacional De Motores S. A.)

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Fábrica Nacional de Motores (FNM) was a manufacturer of engines and motor vehicles based in the Xerém district of Duque de Caxias near Rio de Janeiro that operated between 1942 and 1988.

The company was created in 1942 by the Brazilian state as part of the Estado Novo agenda of President Getúlio Dornelles Vargas. It was one of several business launched by the state during this period (including also Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional launched in 1941 and CHESF in the later 1940s) to kick start an industrial sector in Brazil. Initially the company produced American Curtiss-Wright aircraft engines under license along with ammunition, bicycles, spindles and refrigerators.

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Fábrica Nacional de Motores (FNM) was a manufacturer of engines and motor vehicles based in the Xerém district of Duque de Caxias near Rio de Janeiro that operated between 1942 and 1988.

The company was created in 1942 by the Brazilian state as part of the Estado Novo agenda of President Getúlio Dornelles Vargas. It was one of several business launched by the state during this period (including also Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional launched in 1941 and CHESF in the later 1940s) to kick start an industrial sector in Brazil. Initially the company produced American Curtiss-Wright aircraft engines under license along with ammunition, bicycles, spindles and refrigerators.

After the Second World War it was decided to diversify production. The government was keen to launch a vehicle manufacturing industry. In 1949 an agreement was reached with the Italian manufacturer, Isotta Fraschini, whereby FNM would produce the Milanese company's heavy trucks under license. Isotta Fraschini commercial vehicles enjoyed an excellent reputation at this time, but the Italian company was already economically troubled, although its formal bankruptcy would be put off till the end of 1951.

The disappearance of Isotta Fraschini as a vehicle manufacturer left FNM looking for a new technology partner. In 1952 an agreement was signed with Alfa Romeo, another Milanese vehicle manufacturer. Unusually in Europe, Alfa Romeo was (like FNM) a state owned business, following bankruptcy and a government rescue in the 1930s. Under the agreement with Alfa Romeo, FNM would manufacture Alfa Romeo's commercial vehicle range under license. Though little known north of the Alps, Alfa Romeo commercial vehicles were well established in Italy, and other south European markets. Between 1956 and 1960 FNM built more than 15,000 heavy trucks of Alfa Romeo design: it also manufactured the chassis for buses and coaches. In the Brazilian heavy truck sector which FNM dominated till the early 1970s, FNM was initially the only manufacturer. Trucks produced by FNM were generally nicknamed "Fenemê".

Alfa Romeo had disposed of its commercial vehicle operations in Italy in the 1960s, and in 1973 the FNM commercial vehicle business was sold to Fiat's industrial vehicle division, while Alfa Romeo retained responsibility for the FNM automobile business – subsequently FNM's commercial vehicle business ended up being absorbed into Fiat's Brazilian Iveco business.

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