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International News From the Field: Mexico, Brazil, and Latin America

The news from our neighbors south of the border is back and bold. In Brazil, billion-dollar investments for EVs, solar power, and steel production are almost matched by hundreds of millions pouring into mining, bathroom fixtures, and trucks. ...
Oct 15, 2021

The news from our neighbors south of the border is back and bold. In Brazil, billion-dollar investments for EVs, solar power, and steel production are almost matched by hundreds of millions pouring into mining, bathroom fixtures, and trucks. Mexico remains very hot with continued major investments in automotive components, tires, and consumer electronics. Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Chile have interesting developments as well. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.

Brazil

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

  • Brazil's steel sector, the world's ninth largest, will receive investments of around $8 billion between 2021 and 2025 to expand the production capacity of 31 plants currently producing 51 million tons of raw steel per year. The sector has received $28 billion in the last five years.

  • Mercedes-Benz and Bosch are kicking off a $20 million investment in a vehicle test facility in Iracemápolis, São Paulo. Plans are to make the facility available to other OEMs installed and operating in the country.

  • Italian truck manufacturer Iveco plans to invest in expanding capacity of its facilities in Sete Lagoas, Minas Gerais, to supply the strong demand of heavy trucks. Iveco’s sales increased 30% in 2021.

  • German Sowitec, one of the world’s largest solar and wind power developers, will invest $1 billion in three non-conventional energy generation plants in Minas Gerais state.

  • Argentinean-founded Bravo Motor Company (now U.S.-based), confirmed plans to invest $5 billion in an EV manufacturing facility in the city of Nova Lima, Minas Gerais. The innovative group is focused on electric, shared, connected, and autonomous vehicles. 

  • Brazilian WEG will invest in a new manufacturing facility in the city of Betim, Minas Gerais, to supply demand for equipment from mining company Vale do Rio Doce. Investments are around $500 million.

  • Brazil steelmaker Gerdau will invest more than $1 billion in the next five years to expand production capacity and update equipment at their facilities in Minas Gerais state.

  • Docol, one of Brazil’s largest bathroom metals manufacturers, will invest $55 million to build a new factory in Pocos de Caldas, Minas Gerais. The company already has factories in Joinvile, Santa Catarina, and São Paulo.

Mexico

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

  • Spain’s Delta Tecnic, a supplier of high-quality color concentrates for the automotive industry, opened its first Mexico plant in Querétaro. The total investment was over $5 million, and they are already looking to expand next year. 

  • Pirelli will expand its plant in Guanajuato with an investment of $36 million and increase their production capacity to 7.2 million tires per year.

  • ITT Motion Technologies, the multi-national producer of brake pads and automotive components, announced an investment of $40 million for expansion of their plant located in Guanajuato. 

  • Kawasaki Motores de México will invest $265 million to expand its facility in Nuevo León to produce all-terrain vehicles starting in 2023.

  • Swiss electronic components manufacturer TE Connectivity will expand with a new factory in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. This will be the third plant for the company in the town and should be operational in the first quarter of 2022.

  • Austrian ZKW group, an automotive supplier of lighting and electronic systems, will expand its Guanajuato Puerto Interior plant with an investment of $102 million.

  • Taiwan’s Inventec, a global supplier of notebook computers, servers, and mobile devices, will invest $200 million in Ciudad Juárez to add one more plant to its two existing plants at its complex.

Argentina

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

  • Argentinean auto parts company Metalúrgica Maro AS and German Volkswagen will invest $9.5 million in new automated welding production lines to produce parts for the new VW Taos platform.

  • Canadian Lundin Mining plans to invest $3 billion in the production of copper, iron, and silver ore in San Juan. Production will be exported through Argentinean ports and will replace the Chilean ports supply chain previously set up.

  • Chilean beverage company CCU will invest $4 billion in its Luján plant to double their beer production capacity.

  • Brazilian Moura will invest $4.5 million in a new semi-automated line to produce automobile batteries at its Buenos Aires facility, increasing capacity by 20% to 450,000 batteries per year. 

  • Brazilian Raizen continues with their $750 million three-year investment to modernize and expand its refinery in Buenos Aires. 

  • Scania continues with their $45 million three-year investment in their Tucuman plant to produce gearbox components that will be exported to Sweden (20%) and Brazil (80%).

  • Ford Argentina is moving forward with their planned $580 million investment in their General Pacheco plant to produce the next generation of its Ranger model.Colombia

Colombia

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

  • In July 2021, Colombia's economy grew 14.3%. This is the first month the economy exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Imports increase 31.7% compared to the same month in 2020.

  • In the first four months of 2021, FDI in Colombia coming from the United States had a total value of $333 million with 15 new projects. This year, FDI is expected to grow 26% to 38% compared to previous years.

Chile

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

  • FDI in Chile increased 66% compared to the first half of 2020, reaching $13.7 billion, an all-time high for the first six months of a year.

  • GNL Quintero, Enagás, and Acciona Energía announced a $30 million investment to build a new plant at the GNL regasification terminal in Quintero Bay.  

  • Chile will invest $150 billion over the next 30 years to increase copper production. The country plans to reach a production of 7 million tons per year by 2030, and 9 million tons by 2050.

Peru

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

  • This year, mining investment in Peru has reached $418 million, a 15% growth over 2020. The bulk of the investments have been in infrastructure, plant upgrades, and new fields.

 

 

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Author
Achilles Arbex
General Manager – AMT Brazil Operation
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