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

The news from our neighbors in Latin and South America remains positive. Automakers GM, VW, and Toyota continue to make substantial investments in Brazil while Stihl gears up to meet the increased demand for power equipment. Mexico will have its first ...
Jun 01, 2021

The news from our neighbors in Latin and South America remains positive. Automakers GM, VW, and Toyota continue to make substantial investments in Brazil while Stihl gears up to meet the increased demand for power equipment. Mexico will have its first lithium battery plant, and GM is investing heavily in the local production of electric vehicles. Colombia and Argentina receive Chinese investments in the medical and EV battery spaces. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.

Mexico

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

  • Mexico’s manufacturing PMI rose to 48.4 in April, compared to 45.6 in March. The improvement was driven by a stronger demand for goods, job creation, and an increase in production.

  • Spin Technologies, a U.S.-based provider of software and hardware solutions for data analysis focused on IoT, plans to invest 14% of its global budget to begin operations in Mexico.

  • According to Secretary of Economy Tatiana Clouthier, the first project to produce lithium batteries for electric cars will be inaugurated in 2021. She said that the Ministry of Economy and the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA) have held working meetings to address actions to strengthen the supply chain of the automotive industry in Mexico. “Advanced batteries” are one of seven essential “super-core” categories considered for regional value content for automobiles under the new USMCA trade agreement.

  • Next.e.GO Mobile SE, the German manufacturer of electric vehicles and sustainable mobility systems, announced that it will set up a production facility in the form of a microfactory. The project will be in cooperation with Questum, a subsidiary of industrial consortium Grupo Quimmco of Monterrey.

  • Bosch will invest up to $100 million in 2021, mostly in new manufacturing lines and digitization projects. The investments will be allocated to its operations in Toluca, Mexicali, and Hermosillo as well as the implementation of a network motion control system for auto parts production.

  • Chinese auto parts supplier Xinquan will invest $40 million in a new plant in San Francisco de los Romo. The plant will produce plastic parts and leather wrapping for export to the United States and will create 400 new jobs.

  • Autoliv, a Swedish-American automotive safety supplier, announced plans to build a new steering wheel manufacturing plant in Aguascalientes.

  • Mayco International, a U.S. auto supplier, will invest $18 million in San Luis Potosí for the expansion of its plant that makes vehicle interior components.

  • GM plans to invest $1 billion in its plant in Coahuila to build electric cars, batteries, and electrical components.

Brazil

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

  • Volkswagen Trucks and Buses continues its expansion in South America, recording 2,527 units exported in the first quarter of 2021 versus 1,084 units in the same quarter last year. Markets like Chile and Uruguay supported this growth with their demand for heavy trucks to be used in the transportation of commodities and beverages.

  • General Motors will launch its newest pickup truck in 2021, completely manufactured in their São Caetano do Sul plant. The new platform is part of a $7 billion investment package released by GM to renew their portfolio of products. The pickup will be exported all over South America.

  • The automotive market continues to recover. Production of passenger cars grew by 34% YOY in the first quarter, boosted by exports that grew 16% in the same period. The truck segment grew by 40%, while the bus segment recorded 13% growth.

  • Brazilian road implement manufacturer Librelato is investing to expand internationally in markets like South Africa (mining) and Europe (several applications). Exports grew by 22% YOY, and the company expects this number to keep growing.

  • Case New Holland Industrial confirmed plans to purchase over $2 billion worth of parts in 2021. This is driven by the high consumption of equipment and machinery in the construction and mining segments. 

  • Stihl will invest over $100 million to expand production capacity of their chainsaws, power tools, trimmers, and other handheld equipment in 2021. The decision was made based on the very good sales numbers recorded by the company in 2020 and the continued recovery of the economy.

  • Toyota will invest an additional $250 million in its Sorocaba facilities to expand capacity and will hire over 450 new employees.

Colombia

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

  • Ternium, a global steel producer, invested $90 billion in a new steel plant in Palmar de Varela. The company plans to take a step toward eco-efficiency while producing an additional 520,000 tons of steel bars and compact rolls for the South American region.

  • Waston Colombia, a joint venture between Colombia’s Todo Ortopédico and China’s Waston Medical, will invest $5 million in the La Cayena Free Trade Zone to manufacture orthopedic and osteosynthesis implant devices. Production is set to begin in 2021.

Argentina

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

  • The Argentine government signed an agreement with a major Chinese company for the installation of a lithium battery factory in the province of Jujuy. The factory will supply Tesla and BMW.

     

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Author
Achilles Arbex
General Manager – AMT Brazil Operation
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