In Argentina, a small automotive company is planning to become the first in-country OEM to manufacture a small compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicle. The project is led by the architect Manuel Bravo, an Argentine entrepreneur who is the head of the ArqBravo group of companies. One of the flagship projects of the company is the development of a low cost popular car, initially called A!PA (Auto Popular Argentino or Argentine Popular Car). A dedicated CNG version is being designed primarily for taxis and light load transport. The CNG engine will be manufactured by the Company, using existing parts from other OEMs.
Currently the company has a small facility in the City of Buenos Aires, but to ramp production upwards it would have to move to a bigger facility, probably in the city of Florencio Varela, just South of Buenos Aires. The company is seeking to register as an OEM with the Argentine Government, so it may apply for the LCM (Licencia de Configuración de Modelo) or vehicle Type approval.
The plan is to manufacture a first series of 40,000 vehicles for the domestic market, and if the project is successful expand production to 200,000 vehicles to include export markets.