Thomas Schmall has headed Volkswagen do Brasil for a good seven years. In 2014, we visited the German manager in São Paulo, where he spoke to us about growth opportunities, Brazilian openness and the patience that German entrepreneurs need in Brazil

 A vigorous pat on the shoulder paired with a warm embrace: attend a business meeting in Brazil and you can expect to be greeted with a hug that lasts for minutes. In our video interview Thomas Schmall tells us about this and other idiosyncrasies of Brazilian business life. And of course, he chats about cars: the German manager was in charge of the Brazilian subsidiary of Volkswagen and has an almost unrivalled knowledge of the market.

Last year, more than 3.5 million new cars were registered in Brazil, a figure that far exceeds German registrations. Both Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have recently invested in new plants. So what sets the market apart from the European one? And what kind of cars do Brasileiros want? One thing’s clear: the car design has to be modified. Watch our video to find out how.