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

The news from Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina shows continued investment in the usual suspects: EV, energy, and infrastructure, with additional developments in steelmaking, regional aviation, and mining. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Oct 25, 2022

The news from Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina shows continued investment in the usual suspects: EV, energy, and infrastructure, with additional developments in steelmaking, regional aviation, and mining. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.

Brazil

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

  • BMW announced an investment of $10 million in its motorcycle factory in Manaus, Amazonas, between now and 2025. Their aim is to expand their portfolio of products by adding seven new platforms, one of which will be launched later this year, as well as improve areas of quality, production, logistics, and shipping. The company projects an increase of 25% in production capacity, 20% in direct labor, and 50% in the usable area of the plant. With the investment, production capacity will rise from 15,000 to 19,000 motorcycles per year.

  • Brazilian VLI Multimodal, formerly Vale do Rio Doce Railway, will invest $80 million in a new railway carriage to expand its transportation capacity of cellulose. The company purchased 215 new train cars and nine locomotives, which Brazilian Group Random will manufacture in its recently updated Araraquara, Sao Paulo, facilities.

  • Bruning Tecnometal, a Brazilian company located in Panambi, Rio Grande do Sul, announced $5 million worth of investment in expanding the production of its so-called yellow line (parts and machinery for civil construction) in 2022. An additional $15 million investment will expand its range of products until 2024, which includes an expansion of its construction equipment product line designed for the U.S. market.

  • Gerdau, Brazil’s largest steelmaker, broke sales records and announced investments in improving production processes focused on the automotive industry’s demand. Their plant in Pindamonhangaba, Sao Paulo, started operations on the new continuous casting of blocks and billets with an investment of around $180 million. The latest casting technology is in line with Industry 4.0 concepts and will increase the company's competitiveness in the segment.

  • Volkswagen Truck & Bus (VWCO) is investing $1 billion in a new generation of trucks. According to the company, the new lines for cargo transport will comply with Euro 6 requirements and the Proconve P8 legislation, which comes into force January 2023. The automaker points out that this is its most significant development, having revamped all models of the Delivery, Constellation, and Meteor families. They will present 30 new models and versions for sale at Fenatran, which will take place in November in Sao Paulo.

  • Brazilian Krominox, a steel tube and products manufacturer, will invest $5 million in new machinery and tooling to produce tubes for the oil and gas sector to 2023. Plans are to create capacity to supply a growing demand for oil and gas, given the industry advancements in the country.

Now, some history of the Brazilian aeronautics industry combined with a business opportunity:

In the early 1970s, Embraer launched the EMB-110 Bandeirante, a small aircraft with advanced airline standards created to serve airports that did not support jet landings and takeoffs. A unique aircraft that did not exist anywhere else in the world, it gave birth to the concept of regional aviation. Over time, Embraer stopped producing this type of aircraft in favor of higher-altitude (and more profitable) flights with higher-capacity aviation, such as the ERJ and its first and second-generation E-Jets. As a result, the Bandeirante was discontinued in 1991 and never had a direct successor of national origin. The vacuum left by Embraer in the entry categories of regional aviation is precisely the area of interest for aeronautical developer Desaer, who recently announced investment plans to build its ATL-100 twin-engine turboprop for 19 passengers (or 2,500 kg of cargo) in Araxa, Minas Gerais. The aircraft is in the same category as the Embraer Bandeirante – but with state-of-the-art technologies and improved design – and presents a unique investment opportunity for those interested in participating in the history of aeronautical development, as Brazil leads the market as one of the most innovative countries in the field.

Mexico

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

  • ArcelorMittal will invest $15 billion to reaffirm its position within the automotive industry. The investment will flow to its plant in Escobedo, Nuevo Leon, to produce pipes for the automotive industry for brands such as Volkswagen, General Motors, and Ford.

  • Aptiv, an Irish company that produces harnesses for electric cars, inaugurated its new plant in Nuevo Leon. Investments worth $15 million will be made to improve the industrialization of the plant.

  • BRP began construction of its first electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Queretaro, an essential milestone in the company’s path toward EVs. Production will start in 2024 and should generate 500 new job positions.

  • Siemens will invest $35 million in its Nuevo Leon facilities to expand the capacity of its low-tension products.

  • KIA seeks to expand its capacity by 40% versus the current installed capacity of 200,000 units per year by investing $408 million in its Nuevo Leon facilities.

  • U.S.-based Candid will bring a new medical plant to Baja California. The new facility will manufacture dental implants and employ more than 750 people.

  • BOCE Industrial Systems, a Turkish company, inaugurated their plant in Queretaro with an investment of $1.5 million. The brand is dedicated to manufacturing automatic lines for treatment and electro-finishing for corrosion protection, decorative or functional.

  • Arauco, a Chilean company, announced an investment of $235 million for a new line to manufacture MDF boards in Mexico, creating a big boost for North America's timber and wood industries.

  • Bosch announced an investment of $215 million in a plant in Queretaro, Mexico, to produce components for mobile applications designed for machinery.

  • With an investment of $35 million, Sanhua Automotive opened its fifth plant in the municipality of Ramos Arizpe. The startup of electric car production in Coahuila next year will encourage the arrival of more companies.

  • The world’s largest mattress manufacturer, Tempur Sealy, will invest $3.4 million in its plant in Toluca to expand its production area by 50%, reaching 19,000 square meters between manufacturing space and office area.

  • Sodecia Automotive will invest $36 million to expand its production plant in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, where they will manufacture auto body components for brands such as GM and Tesla.

  • Between June and August 2022, over $10 billion of investment was announced to arrive in Mexico, mainly for energy projects.

Argentina

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

  • Kimberly-Clark invested $9 million in Argentina to start manufacturing products and replace imports from Colombia.

  • Argentina is looking to increase its lithium production by six times in the next 10 years. The country anticipates beginning the extraction and production of copper and reaching $18.6 million in exports by 2030.

  • Whirlpool Corp. announced the opening of its new $52 million production plant in Fatima, located outside of Pilar, Buenos Aires. The new factory plans to export more than 70% of the local production.

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Author
Achilles Arbex
Director, Global Services
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