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

The news from our neighbors in Latin and South America continues to be quite positive. Automotive suppliers in Mexico, from ZF to Motherson, continue to expand with substantial investments to meet the increased demand.
by Achilles Arbex
Apr 05, 2021

The news from our neighbors in Latin and South America continues to be quite positive. Automotive suppliers in Mexico, from ZF to Motherson, continue to expand with substantial investments to meet the increased demand. Agricultural and construction equipment in Brazil is still booming, with Volvo, Jacto, and Tramontina making plans accordingly. Argentina and Costa Rica see batteries, transmissions, and ovens triggering new investments. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.

Mexico

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

  • Phillips Industries’ Electrical Harness Division will invest $10 million to expand its Coahuila factory to meet the increased automotive demand. The expansion will create 600 new jobs.

  • The monthly Industrial Activity Index increased 0.25% in January, the 8th consecutive month of growth.

  • Hisense, a Chinese electronics and white goods manufacturer, will open their first plant in Mexico with a $260 million investment in Nuevo Leon. They plan to produce refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and air conditioners. This adds to the capacity of the state as a very important appliance hub that already houses Whirlpool, LG, Carrier, and Rheem – as well as the associated supply chains.

  • Eberspächer, a German automotive supplier, inaugurated a plant in Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, with an investment of more than $25 million. This is their first plant in Mexico and sixth in Latin America.

  • ZF, a German automotive parts supplier, will invest $62 million to expand their presence in Queretaro, creating more than 500 new jobs.

  • In 2020, Mexico remained the fourth largest vehicle exporter in the world with a total export value of $40.5 billion. 

  • Motherson Sumi, an Indian/Japanese automotive supplier, plans to invest $32 million to create a new production line in their plant located in San Luis Potosi.

Argentina

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

  • Scania´s Tucuman plant, considered a factory on par with those in Sweden, invested $45 million to produce a new transmission and to incorporate more advanced technology.

  • Grupo Libson, a local company, is going to invest $2 million for a new production line of ovens in Catamarca, in the northern region.

Costa Rica

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

  • Panasonic is moving a production line of AAA batteries from Asia and will invest $10 million to expand their plant here.

Colombia

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

  • Unilever inaugurated a new plant in Valle de Cauca with an investment of more than $43 million creating over 370 new jobs.

Brazil

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

  • German agriculture equipment manufacturer Horsch will invest $50 million in its first manufacturing facility in South America. Planting machines and other equipment will be built in Curitiba and will create 100 jobs.

  • Volvo Construction recorded 19% production growth in 2020 YOY and will hire an additional 250 employees to produce two new wheel loader platforms. They are targeting infrastructure investments made by the Brazilian government and exports, which represent 40% of their production.

  • BorgWarner, a U.S.-based automotive supplier, implemented 3D printing technologies to speed up the prototyping process in their Piracicaba facility.

  • Brazilian agriculture manufacturer Jacto will invest in a new facility that will double capacity of production of sugar cane harvesters, planting machines, and sprayers. Industry 4.0 will be largely implemented as one of the premises of the project. The painting of cabins and warehousing operations will be fully automated, utilizing autonomous vehicles for material handling. Exports represent 25% of their business and they plan to double their revenue in two years.

  • Stellantis, a Dutch automotive manufacturer, opened its first local engine manufacturing facility in Betim. The factory will produce 100,000 units a year. Plans call for an additional $50 million of investment in 2021 to expand capacity and make Betim Latin America’s largest engine and transmission manufacturing cluster, producing 700,000 engines and 500,000 transmissions a year.

  • Brazilian manufacturer Tramontina will invest more than $60 million in new manufacturing technology to expand production capacity. The group manufactures kitchen, garden, construction, and industrial equipment and has been in business for over 100 years.

  • Volvo expects the trucks and buses segment to grow 40% in 2021. To prepare for this wave of growth, they have hired an additional 400 employees and are now focusing on heavy applications (FH 540) and long haulage buses.

  • According to the Central Bank, economic activity grew 1% in January.

  • Embraer unveiled a new flying vehicle concept for future urban air mobility. The aircraft concept, with electric vertical take-off and landing capability (eVTOL), is part of the EmbraerX multi-project approach. This disruptive business subsidiary is working on a collaborative effort to enable and accelerate the urban mobility ecosystem.

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Author
Achilles Arbex
General Manager – AMT Brazil Operation
Achilles P. Arbex joined AMT as General Manager of the AMT Sao Paulo Technology Center in Sorocaba, Brazil, in May 2013. Achilles graduated as an Auto ...
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