Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade is a Brazilian born medical doctor who used to practice medicine throughout the North and Northeast regions of Brazil. His respected medical career took an unexpected turn when he acquired a car dealership.
In 1979 Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade purchased a Ford Landau from a dealership in Brazil. However, the dealership declared bankruptcy before his car was delivered. Seeing the opportunity, Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade proposed that the dealership be passed to him as compensation for the pre-paid car that he never received. He became an entrepreneur and using his initials as the company name, CAOA was founded. In less than six years it became the largest Ford dealership in Brazil.
Brazil opened its doors to imported vehicles in 1992 and Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade took hold of another opportunity. CAOA became the official importer of Renault, a French automobile manufacturer. With CAOA as the exclusive importer, Renault jumped to the number one brand in sales in the imported segment during this time. In 1998 CAOA became the official importer for the Japanese brand Subaru and in less than a year, Subaru’s national sales tripled. CAOA took over import and marketing for South Korea’s Hyundai in 1999, making it the leader in the imported cars segment.
After nearly a ten-year partnership, in 2007 Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade built the first Hyundai factory in Brazil, CAOA Automobile S/A. Not only did he get to fulfill his dream of building an automobile manufacturer, he also received ‘Entrepreneur of the Year in Industry.’
Today, CAOA is Latin America’s largest automobile distributor and manufacturer, and in 40 years of operation has surpassed one million vehicles sold throughout Brazil. The company was ranked number one in sales and after sales in 2014 and 2017. CAOA Chery was recently launched with the largest exporter of Chinese vehicles to create a 100% Brazilian automaker.
Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Andrade currently sits as Chairman of the Board of Directors for CAOA. From medical doctor to entrepreneur, he has paved his way as carmaker and distributor.