Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate how technology-forcing regulations affect the product
development process in the supply chain of heavyweight vehicles.
Design/methodology/approach – Through a case study, this paper seeks to understand how one of the
leading companies in heavyweight vehicles manufacturing industry and its engine supplier in Brazil
introduce eco-design practices into its engine development process.
Findings – Through case studies conducted in a heavyweight vehicle producer and its engine supplier, this
study shows that, in addition to meeting the standards and legislation, the automaker uses ecodesign
practices during the product development cycle such as a design that eliminates harmful and hazardous
materials and a project that allows recycling, the reuse of parts and energy efficiency, thereby reducing the
environmental impact. However, without the mandatory requirements imposed by federal legislation,
products with lower environmental impacts would rarely be developed, as environmental performance is not
demanded by customers, who are mainly cost driven. Technology-forcing regulations play an important role
in enhancing the adoption of ecodesign practices, but market and competitive conditions also play an
Originality/value – Several studies on the impacts of public policies and development for the automobile
sector have been conducted, but there is a lack of studies in the area of commercial vehicles, especially in
Brazil. Therefore, this research is justified by new demands of society, in addition to the necessity of
complying with legal requirements and the adoption of good practices related to eco-design.