From Doctor to Car Dealer: The Successful Story of Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade

It seems like quite a jarring career change, going from medical doctor to owner of a car dealership. But that is the story of Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade. Back in 1979, “Dr Carlos” was a renown physician in Northern Brazil. One day, he went to the Campina Grande Ford dealership to purchase a new car, a Landau. But before they could deliver the car to Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade, the dealership went bankrupt. He proposed that the dealership be transferred to him as compensation for not getting his car. The deal was agreed to, and the dealership was renamed CAOA, after the doctor’s initials.

Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade did not just sit back and treat his new purchase like a hobby. He actively managed the dealership, and within six years, CAOA became the largest Ford dealership in all of Brazil. When the country allowed imported vehicles to be sold within its borders, Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade took advantage of this. CAOA became the exclusive importer of vehicles from the French firm Renault. This relationship proved highly successful as Renault became the highest selling imported car in Brazil. When CAOA’s partnership with Renault ended before the close of the decade, Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade struck a deal with Suburu to become its exclusive importer in Brazil. In 1999, CAOA also became an exclusive importer for Hyundai. In 2007, the two companies opened the first ever Hyundai factory in the country.

Along with being a successful auto dealer, Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade has shown that he is also a socially responsible businessman. In 2010, CAOA was given the Good Doer Award for its efforts to reduce waste and help with reforestation. In 2015, the company opened the Center for Research and Energy Efficiency (CPEE) at the CAOA Assembly plant in AnĂ¡polis.

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