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International News From the Field: Mexico and Brazil

What lies ahead for Latin America's largest economies? How are uncertainties affecting the investments and resilience of the two engines of the region? For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Dec 08, 2023

Brazil

For more information, contact Achilles Arbex (aarbex@AMTonline.org).

  • Tamura, a world-leading Japanese manufacturer of electronic components, will invest in a manufacturing facility in Santa Rita do Sapucai. The company has recorded 390% growth in the last five years. Investment figures have not been disclosed so far, but the company expects to employ more than 400 professionals in this facility.

  • With an annual growth of 18% compared to 2022, BorgWarner announced an all-time record for turbocompressor production in Brazil in 2023. The company’s record-setting output and growth are triggering new investments to expand the production capacity of its Itatiba facilities. The goal is to supply the growing demand from Fiat, Volkswagen, and Peugeot in both commercial vehicles and passenger cars divisions. Investment figures will be announced shortly.

  • U.S. agricultural machinery and equipment company John Deere announced a new investment of $40 million for the construction of a new technology development center. The facility will be located in Indaiatuba, Sao Paulo.

  • XCMG will invest $55 million in Brazil's electric truck plant. XCMG has signed a letter of intent to invest in Pouso Alegre, in the southern part of Minais Gerais. XCMG also plans to invest in creating a research and development center in the state. The letter of intent reaffirms the intention of XCMG to gain market share in Brazil, not only in the off-highway electric truck segment but also in Brazil’s on-highway truck segment that they entered in May 2023. XCMG, the world’s third-largest construction equipment producer, threatens CAT, Komatsu, and Volvo in the on-highway truck segment and plans to become a player in the on-highway market. It should be noted that XCMG already has a 5.5-million-square-foot plant in Pouso Alegre and probably only has enough space to make the investment for equipment and tools for assembly.

  • Minas Gerais will become home to a factory from Chinese SAIC Motor with an investment of $55 million. The announcement of the expansion of heavy machinery and vehicle manufacturer XCMG in Pouso Alegre aroused SAIC Motor’s interest in Minas Gerais. SAIC Motor will install the company’s first factory in Latin America, which will also be in the municipality of Sul de Minas. The investment was not expected at the beginning of the Minas Gerais government’s official mission to China and was announced after the official expansion of the XCMG factory. SAIC Motor, one of the leading suppliers of engines and parts for XCMG and the largest of China’s four major state-owned vehicle manufacturers, has not yet defined investment values. The factory installation is scheduled for mid-2024.

  • WEG announced an investment of $240 million to expand transformer production capacity, including new facilities in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. Focusing on the main markets in which it operates, the company is planning initiatives to increase approximately 50% of its production capacity. In Brazil, investments will occur in the Betim and Itajuba industrial sites. In Betim, in addition to allocating a new winding area, assembly space, laboratory, and warehouse in the building expansion, the company will invest about $40 million to build a new factory dedicated to producing radiators. In Itajuba, where WEG has a transformer factory for measuring instruments and sets, the company intends to double its current production capacity with the construction of a new factory. The $20-million investment will increase the company's market share and allow for a greater volume of exports from Brazil, increasing its presence in the Americas. WEG will invest around $150 million in Mexico to build a new power transformer factory. The new unit will be made on recently acquired land in Atotonilco de Tula. The strategy of this project is to start serving the North American power transmission market up to 550 kV, allowing the current Huehuetoca transformer factory to produce equipment from 138 kV to 230 kV and offering more capacity to meet the continuous and growing demand for power transformers in the country and in the United States. For Colombia, the plan is to increase local production capacity up to 60 MVA with the construction of a new transformer factory in the city of Rionegro, Antioquia. The new industrial park will meet the demand of the oil sector and the need to expand and modernize the energy park in neighboring markets, such as Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Central America. Investment in the country will be approximately $40 million. The investment schedule foresees completion of the works by December 2026.

Mexico

For more information, contact Carlos Mortera (cmortera@AMTonline.org).

  • Eaton will invest $85 million to increase North American manufacturing of essential utility solutions, advancing the energy transition and electrification. Plans are to meet surging utility demand for its solutions that support critical electric grid infrastructure projects. Eaton will increase manufacturing capacity in Queretaro, Mexico, for line installation and protective equipment vital to undergrounding power lines and bolstering energy resilience.

  • Danish Lego broke ground in Cienega de Flores on a packaging plant in which it will invest $205 million. Operations will begin May 2025. This comes in addition to the $507 million announced last year for a new molding building, which is under construction and expected to be ready by the end of 2024.

  • Portuguese company Cabopol Polymer Compounds will open its first production plant on the North American continent, which will be installed in Nuevo Leon. Without specifying the amount of investment that will be made or the municipality of the installation, the company's official site stated the new unit will initially start with two production lines but potentially expand to reach a capacity of 25,000 tons per year.

  • Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG), a world-class automotive company that manufactures harnesses and a leading supplier of robotic assemblies, electric vehicles, seating systems, structures, and plastic products for various markets, inaugurated its first plant in Chihuahua with an investment of $10 million. The company is expected to generate 300 jobs during 2023 and another 1,400 by mid-2024.

  • Sunstrong, a global company with more than 40 years of experience in the manufacture of electrical products and plants in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam, announced its arrival in the city of Torreon with an investment of $20 million, which is expected to generate 500 new jobs for the La Laguna region. Sunstrong will develop charging devices for Milwaukee tools in the first phase, including drills and electronic processing tablets.

  • With an investment of $10.2 million, GHSP-Mexico, a world leader in manufacturing mechanical and electromechanical systems for the automotive, transportation, and home appliance industries, has begun its expansion process in Saltillo, Coahuila. 

  • American company Terex Genie inaugurated a manufacturing plant for elevators and construction platforms in Cienega de Flores with an investment of $140 million.

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Author
Achilles Arbex
Director, Global Services
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