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

Near-shoring and automotive electrification are benefiting our neighbors to the south as investments continue to grow in this sector, as well as for plant expansions, medical, energy, and tech growth. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Sep 28, 2022

Near-shoring and automotive electrification are benefiting our neighbors to the south as investments continue to grow in this sector, as well as for plant expansions, medical, energy, and tech growth. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.

Mexico

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

  • Navistar has invested $39 million in the last three years to expand its plant in Escobedo, Nuevo León, to produce electric trucks. This investment is added to the $462 million total it has invested since its arrival in 1998.

  • GG Trailers inaugurated its new plant in Coahuila. The company, dedicated to manufacturing tank trucks and chassis for containers, will produce 6,000 chassis per year. Investments are worth $16 million.

  • Mexican company Cuprum, a Tier 2 supplier of aluminum profiles for industries such as automotive, announced a $100 million investment to build three plants by 2025. The start of production of its first extrusion plant is 2023.

  • Donaldson Co. will invest $75 million in the state of Guanajuato and is projecting to start producing automotive filters by 2023.

  • China-based Lingong Machinery Group will invest $140 million to produce articulated lifts. The facility will be installed at the Roots Airport Industrial Park, located in the municipality of Marin, Nuevo Leon, together with two of its suppliers.

  • BCS Automotive Interface Solutions will invest $60 million in a new production plant for steering control modules and other high-tech electrical components to expand its sourcing to Tesla. A high-ranking official of the company revealed that they currently have projects of up to $2 billion, with a planned investment of $200 million, the expansion of two other plants, and the creation of 3,600 local jobs.

  • Originally from Indiana, Kimball Electronics, which is dedicated to multifaceted global manufacturing (manufacturing as a service) of fully automated testing and measuring systems, celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Reynosa, Tamaulipas, establishment. In August, with an investment of $46 million, the plant’s 227,000 square feet, of which 147,000 are dedicated to manufacturing, was expanded an additional 240,000 square feet.

  • The Volkswagen plant in Puebla seeks to position itself as one of the most modern in the entire automotive group. As part of this effort, it announced an investment of close to $1 billion to expand its industrial warehouse and carry out technical manufacturing focused on its electrification plans.

  • Japanese manufacturer Daikin will invest $230 million in expanding the capacity of its San Luis Potosi air conditioners plant to meet the growing demand for energy-efficient air conditioning equipment in the United States; the plant will employ 2,000 people and will begin operations in 2024.

  • With an investment of more than $500 million, Lego launched its newest expansion, making Monterrey facility its largest factory in the world.

  • Chinese company Man Wah will invest $200 million to manufacture furniture in the state of Nuevo Leon and is planning to hire up to 4,000 employees.

  • American manufacturer Terex changed its plans and will move Oklahoma’s production to Mexico instead of China. The company chose to move its production of cranes and other lifting equipment for various industries to Nuevo Leon.

  • Quanta Computer Mexico, a manufacturer of components for electric cars, will invest $130 million to expand its plant in Garcia, Nuevo Leon. The operation consists of electronics manufacturing, including the creation of a device that helps control different functions of a vehicle that will be the most complex machine currently being manufactured for electric vehicles.

  • CATL, a Chinese supplier of batteries for electric vehicles, is looking to establish a manufacturing plant in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, or Saltillo, Coahuila. The project could mean an investment of up to $5 billion to supply Tesla and Ford.

  • Korea’s Posco will invest $136 million to build a steel processing plant in Coahuila.

  • Continental will invest $40 million in a new hydraulic hose plant in San Luis Potosi.

  • Samsung will invest $500 million in Mexico to increase its production of household appliances in its two plants.

  • The National Auto Parts Industry Association in Mexico estimates that, thanks to the near-shoring effect, the country has the opportunity to domestically manufacture and substitute import parts from other countries to the tune of $93 million.

  • Car production in Mexico grew 6% in June 2022, compared to the same month in 2021.

Chile

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

  • FDI in Chile from January to May 2022 is $9.6 billion, 17% higher than the average from 2017-2022.

Colombia

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

  • Sinovac will invest $100 million in a new plant in Colombia to produce vaccines for the region.

  • Coloplast, a manufacturer of medical devices, announced a plant expansion for $80 million. The plant will allow them to double its capacity.

  • Isoca, which specializes in technology and artificial intelligence and is headquartered in Spain, opened an operation and engineering center in Medellin.

  • Seven companies established in Colombia will invest more than $230 million in plant expansions. Companies such as PepsiCo, Kimberly Clark, Enka, and Holcim are among those.

Argentina

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

  • Oldelval, an Argentinean company, is planning to invest $750 million to expand the pipeline capacity from the Vaca Muerta region in the country.

Costa Rica

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

  • SAE-A Spinning announced the building of a second plant as part of an investment plan to build three plants by 2023 with a total investment of $150 million.

  • Intel officially inaugurated its assembly and testing plant at the San Antonio de Belen location in the Heredia province.

Brazil

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

  • Brazilian Castertech added 13 new CNC machines to expand production capacity to more than 1 million parts a year. Castertech is a Random Group company which is now updating/upgrading the manufacturing floor by adding horizontal and CNC lathes and horizontal and vertical CNC machining centers.

  • United Airlines bought 200 eVTOLs from EVE Air mobility, an Embraer company. The investment is worth $15 million, and vehicles will be delivered in 2026. The eVTOLs will be used as air taxis, and plans are to expand the fleet to 500 units before 2026.

  • Bridgestone will invest $55 million in its Camacari, Bahia, plant. This is part of the $200 million investment plan started in 2021 to increase the production capacity of passenger cars and pickup truck tires.

  • Taurus Brazil keeps expanding the capacity of its Sao Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, facilities. The company is doubling the capacity of production of its Raging Hunter Revolver by adding seven brand new machines (four 4-axis horizontal machining centers, two 4-axis horizontal machining centers, and one 5-axis machining center) to its floor, a $7.5 million investment. Taurus’ production capacity will reach 250 units a day with the addition. The new GX4 Graphene pistol was launched a few months ago. The second generation of this same gun, made with niobium as well as graphene, will be launched soon.

  • Truck production was quite impressive in August, reaching 17,000 units, representing an increase of 35.4% over July and 15% over August 2021. Bus production in August totaled 3,564 units, up 136% over August 2021, when 1,510 units were produced. In comparison with July, which totaled 3,130 units, the increase was 13.9%. Year-to-date, the number of chassis produced totaled 20,025 against 13,367 in 2021, up 49.8%.

  • Iochpe-Maxion, a parent of Maxion Wheels GmbH, has announced a $20 million investment in its Cruzeiro manufacturing facility. As a result of the investment, the company will increase its annual production capacity by 400,000 truck wheels and 110,000 agricultural wheels. The increased production capacity is expected to be available beginning Q1 of 2023 for truck wheels and Q3 of 2023 for agricultural.

  • Komatsu announced a planned investment of $30 million for a second cycle of production capacity expansion at its Suzano Plant in Brazil. According to Komatsu, production capacity will be increased by 26%. Komatsu has invested $20 million during the last three years for 32% capacity expansion and safety and environmental impact improvements.

  • Alstom started the production of trains that will provide service on ViaMobilidade's lines in Sao Paulo. In total, 36 trains of eight cars each will be produced at Alstom's industrial unit in Taubate, Sao Paulo.

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Author
Carlos Mortera
International Director, Latin America
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