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Roberto Cortes receives the title of Doctor Honoris Causa

  • Honor is granted by the Dom Bosco University Center of Rio de Janeiro
  • Recognition of the legacy built at the head of Volkswagen Truck & Bus

Roberto Cortes, president and CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, is the first Doctor Honoris Causa with a title granted by the Dom Bosco University Center of Rio de Janeiro. The recognition was due to the legacy built at the head of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, installed in South Fluminense region since 1996. The executive received the honor from the hands of the dean and professor Mario Esteves in a ceremony on the night of August 12th in Resende, in the presence of his family, authorities and executives of the company.

"Receiving this title moves me a lot, because it crowns a professional career that started at a very young age at 13, when I got my first job as an office boy. It is also very special that this tribute takes place in one of the largest and most important university centers in the State of Rio de Janeiro and coincides with the graduation of its first Dual Study class in Administration. At the ceremony, I was able both to thank for the honor and to convey to the graduates present a message of perseverance and passion for what we do,” said Roberto Cortes.

With experience in the financial and business areas of five multinational companies, Roberto Cortes is an economist graduated from Mackenzie University, has a postgraduate degree in Finance from the Mauá Institute of Technology and has a specialization from Insead, a business school based in Fontainebleau, France.

The executive began working in the automotive industry in 1979, becoming an executive at the age of 28. In 1986, he participated in the creation of Autolatina, a joint venture between Ford and Volkswagen in Brazil and Argentina, and from 1989 to 1990 he worked as Senior Manager of Business Strategy at Ford's headquarters in Detroit, United States. With the end of Autolatina in 1994, he was invited by Volkswagen of Germany to assume the position of Corporate Controller of Volkswagen in South America.

In 1998, Cortes also took over the Treasury area of Volkswagen of Brazil. In the same year, he was given the task of leading a cross-functional team in charge of transforming the brand's Trucks and Buses Operation into a business unit with greater autonomy in decisions and strategies. With this new assignment, Cortes started to accumulate the Controllership and Treasury administrations with that of Trucks and Buses Business. From June 2000, Cortes was given overall command of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and of Trucks and Buses for operations in South America.

In 2002, he became Senior Vice President of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and for more than 20 years, Cortes has held the position of President and CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus, with worldwide responsibility for the brand of the same name. The executive is also a member of the Executive Board of the TRATON Group, based in Germany.

Cortes was recognized as Personality of the Year Brazil-Germany, and also Personality of the Year of the Automotive Industry by direct election on four different occasions: two by the publisher Autodata and the others by the readers of Automotive Business. They are the most traditional awards of the sector in Brazil.

In addition to teaching inaugural classes in several educational institutions, Cortes often meets with these institutions both in his São Paulo (SP) office and in the Resende factory, cooperating in research and academic studies in the automotive area.

Cortes maintains an “open door” policy with executives and employees, promoting meetings and maintaining dialogue channels with all sectors of the company. He also participates in meetings with the Employee Committee, with the Union of Metalworkers of South Fluminense and with authorities at all levels of government.


Located 150 kilometers from the city of Rio de Janeiro, the Resende factory made history in the world automotive industry by introducing a modern management concept in the relations between the manufacturer and its main suppliers: the Modular Consortium.

In this production system, suppliers share responsibility for assembling the vehicles with the company. The main advantages are increased productivity and quality levels and reduced costs. The partner companies are Maxion (chassis and wheels), Meritor (axles), Suspensys (suspension), Carese (painting), Aethra (cabin frame), Powertrain (engine), Kroschu (cabin finish) and Moura (batteries).

VWTB's focus is on end customer satisfaction. In addition to product development with its Engineering also located in Resende, the company takes care of quality tests that include safety, compliance with brand standards and finishing.

One million square meters of total area, 148 thousand square meters of built area, 100 thousand square meters in the supplier park and 50 thousand square meters in the logistics center. Putting all this into motion, more than 4 thousand employees strive to do their best every day, with great determination and team spirit.


Volkswagen Truck & Bus brought to Resende not only a factory, but its worldwide research and product development center. The success of the project led Roberto Cortes to defend six consecutive investment cycles with the automaker's headquarters, which by the end of 2025 will reach R$ 7.5 billion. The President and CEO also began the process of internationalization of the brand, with the arrival in several South American countries starting in 1998; the construction of the first factory of the brand outside the country, in Mexico, in 2004; the closing of productive agreements in South Africa in 2006, in the Philippines in 2022, and more recently also in Argentina, where Volkswagen trucks and buses will soon be produced.

The product and parts kits of all these assembly lines come from Resende, which also has a large logistics center and a supplier park installed in its vicinities.

Throughout 27 years, the world research and development center in Resende has developed five new families of trucks: the 2000-Worker Series, two generations of Delivery, the Constellation line and more recently the Meteor and also the e-Delivery, the first electric trucks 100% designed, tested and produced in Brazil. If before arriving in the South Fluminense region, the brand offered only two models of Volksbus bus chassis, today the number has risen to eight. They are the result of the work of a team of approximately 500 technicians and engineers trained mainly in the region, since the automaker also increased the local offer of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in technology.

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