The aim of this chapter is to analyse the factors that explain the industrial leadership of a Brazilian manufacturer of bus bodyworks, a niche segment within the broader automotive industry. This study suggests that specific contextual factors regarding the Brazilian market led the large automobile manufacturers to leave this market in the hands of Brazilian incumbents in the sector. In fact, the lower technological requirements and the high labour intensity of the bus bodywork segment left room for the entry and growth of emerging countries like Brazil. Within this context, Marcopolo was able to gain a leadership position through the strategies of its entrepreneurial founders and its focus on capability building. This case study provides important insights for policy-makers by showing how a nationally owned global leader was able to emerge in a relatively neglected segment in terms of explicit industrial policies.
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