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

The news from our neighbors south of the border is here. Tier-one automotive continues to expand in Mexico with investments from Draxton, Mayco, Eastek, and Phillips. But it’s not all about vehicles. Medical and textiles see developments as well. ...
Sep 14, 2021

The news from our neighbors south of the border is here. Tier-one automotive continues to expand in Mexico with investments from Draxton, Mayco, Eastek, and Phillips. But it’s not all about vehicles. Medical and textiles see developments as well. Brazil’s oil and gas, off-road, appliances, and robotics have interesting news. Chile, Costa Rica, and Colombia report in with investments in medical, gemstones, and air springs. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.

Mexico

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

  • Draxton, the auto parts unit of Mexico’s multinational conglomerate, GIS, announced an investment of $30 million to build a new foundry line at their San Luis Potosí facility for brackets, calipers, and parts for braking systems. It is planned to be operational during the last quarter of 2022 and is in line with their focus on auto parts that are 100% compatible with hybrid and electric vehicles.

  • Eastek International Corp., the U.S.-based contract manufacturer of electromechanical subassemblies for the automotive industry, announced the launch of its operations in Mexico with an investment of $1.5 million in Fresnillo, Zacatecas.

  • U.S.-based multinational Phillips Industries announced a new expansion project to its plant located in Arteaga, Coahuila. The $20 million investment will increase its harness manufacturing for heavy-duty commercial vehicles.

  • Mayco International, the U.S. tier-one automotive supplier of plastic parts, announced an investment of $19 million to expand their presence in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

  • Perennials and Sutherland, the Texas-based supplier of high-quality textiles, announced the expansion of its plant producing acrylic yarn in San Luis Potosí, where it will double its operating space and create 100 new jobs.

  • Erika de Reynosa Norte, a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s leading provider of chronic kidney failure products, inaugurated two new operating plants at their Reynosa campus with a $9 million investment. The expansion will create 1,250 new jobs.

  • Daimler Trucks will invest more than $30 million in its plant in Santiago Tianguistenco. The investment will specifically go to its electrocoating process, chassis production, and logistics.

Brazil

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

  • Hyundai confirmed investments of around $70 million to produce engines in its Piracicaba, São Paulo, plant in 2022. Tool manufacturers have confirmed meetings with the OEM to commit capacity.

  • The Rio de Janeiro Federation of Industries mapped approximately $10 billion worth of investments in the oil and gas industry in the next two years. Rio de Janeiro state accounts for 80% of Brazil’s oil and gas production, and expectations are to rank the country as one of the top five of the world’s largest oil exporters by 2030, averaging 3.4 million barrels per day.

  • Austrian-based Fronius is projecting 20% growth in revenue for its welding products division in 2021. The positive trend is due to Brazil’s economic recovery, especially in the commercial vehicles and off-road/highway segments, where Industry 4.0 concepts have been largely applied.

  • ABB, the Swiss automation and robotics company, launched robot rental and leasing in Brazil. ABB’s plans are to support small and medium-sized companies to grow and incorporate the next level of automation and technology without the need of big CAPEX investments.

  • Whirlpool will invest over $50 million to upgrade their Rio Claro, São Paulo, and Joinville, Santa Catarina, facilities to accommodate the growing domestic demand for home appliances (washing machines, kitchen ovens, and cooktops).

  • Brazilian Romi recorded 79% net operating income (NOI) growth in the second quarter of 2021 YOY. Their machine tools division saw 153% growth in this same quarter while their backlog has grown by almost 69%.

Chile

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

  • In the first semester of 2021, investment projects in Chile increased 28% to nearly $24 billion from the $19 billion for the same period in 2020. The sectors with the largest growth were infrastructure, energy, and mining.

Colombia

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

  • In June, Colombian manufacturing exports grew 22% compared to the same month in 2020. 

  • Fura, the Colombia gemstone mining company, announced an investment of $100 million in the next four years to upgrade their exploration and extraction processes.

Costa Rica

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

  • Baylis Medical, a Canadian cardiovascular device company, is installing a manufacturing plant in the Zona Franca La Lima.

  • The Bridgestone company announced an investment of $2 million for the expansion of its Firestone Industrial Products (FSIP) plant in Turrialba where it produces air springs, creating more than 100 new jobs.

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Author
Carlos Mortera
International Director, Latin America
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