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

From a manufacturing technology sales potential standpoint, the Latin America region is profoundly positive right now – to the point that there is simply too much this month to paraphrase. For announcements and details to help steer your strategy, read on.
Jul 13, 2022

From a manufacturing technology sales potential standpoint, the Latin America region is profoundly positive right now. Normally, you would have a quick summary here to entice, but there is simply too much this month to paraphrase. For announcements and details to help steer your strategy, read on.

Brazil

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

  • The Brazil Manufacturing PMI rose to 54.2 in May, up from 51.8 in the previous month. The latest reading pointed to the third straight month of expansion in factory activity – and at the fastest pace since last September. Production and new orders grew more robust amid reports of strengthening demand conditions and new product launches.

  • Brazil's tax on imported goods is now cut by another 10% in what the country's government noted was the second reduction by the same amount in recent months.

  • Dutch truck manufacturer DAF, a Paccar company, confirmed a $70 million investment through 2026 to expand its plant in Ponta Grossa, Parana. The funds will be used to improve manufacturing technologies and implement Industry 4.0 as the company improves products to meet Euro VI vehicle emission standards.

  • Multinational BorgWarner will build a battery factory for electric vehicles in Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, within its unit that manufactures replacement components and injection systems. The announcement was made three months after the purchase of Akasol, a battery manufacturer.

  • Tramontina has just opened its new porcelain factory in Pernambuco. The factory was built in an area of 66.2 hectares located in the municipality of Moreno, in the metropolitan region of Recife, and will be responsible for producing dinnerware. An investment of $80 million was made. Tramontina is also expanding its business in Europe and Africa.

  • CNH Group plans to reach $17.5 billion in revenue by 2024 and increase material purchases by $1.56 billion in 2022 (50% growth YOY) to supply growing domestic and export demand of agricultural and construction products. CNH Group has been steadily investing $2 billion a year in the capacity expansion of its manufacturing facilities in Brazil, while plans are to double investment in the coming years.

  • Eve UAM LLC, an Embraer company, and Global Crossing Airlines Group Inc. have signed a letter of intent to order up to 200 of Eve’s electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). This potential sale is included in Eve’s current order backlog of up to 1,785 eVTOLs. The company expects to start deliveries in 2026.

  • The market for renewable energy in Latin America keeps recovering, driven by major green energy projects in Brazil and Chile. Wind and solar capacity in the region reportedly grew by 50% in 2021. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 17.5 GW of wind and solar energy capacity in total was added throughout the region in 2021 with $18 billion invested.

  • Brazilian mining company Vale has started construction of a $340 million plant to produce "green" pig iron in Marabá, Pará. The plant will be built by its subsidiary Tecnored, which is focused on developing a low-carbon pig iron process by substituting metallurgical coal with biomass.

  • Gunmaker Taurus held an opening ceremony of the new 130,000-square-foot industrial complex in São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul. It will house four major suppliers: Trivium, Demore, Index, and the joint venture of Taurus and Joalmi, which is responsible for producing items such as chargers, bolts, pipes, and components. This will enable a 50% increase in Taurus production capacity from the current 6,000 weapons per day to 9,000. The company will become a strategic components distribution hub for its manufacturing units in Brazil, the United States, and India. Investments worth $40 million have been made in the project.

  • Chinese BYD plans to acquire Ford’s plant in Camacari, Bahia, to expand the production of its electric cars. With two factories in Brazil, one for solar photovoltaic panels in the Manaus Free Trade Zone and the other for electric bus chassis in Campinas, Sao Paulo, BYD is now seeking the acquisition of Ford’s old factory in Camacari to assemble electric cars and hybrid vehicles.

  • Major truck and bus sales rebounded in 2021 in South America. Brazil’s truck market grew almost 43%, from 91,000 to 158,000 units; Colombia was up 77% from 20,018 to 35,567, and Chile’s truck market improved 59% from 10,646 to 16,898. Brazil’s 2022 numbers for May versus April were even more impressive. Truck production was up 38.5%, while bus production experienced a strong increase of 85.4%. On the sales side, trucks were up 10.8%, while buses experienced a 29.2% increase.

  • Rockwell Automation and Bravo Motor Company announced a partnership to produce the latest technology in the manufacture of lithium batteries and electric vehicles in Nova Lima, Minas Gerais. The partnership is intended to strengthen plans of bringing a complete chain of manufacturing companies that will supply components and parts to Bravo Motor Company in Latin America’s first Gigafactory.

  • Iochpe-Maxion is expanding its Cruzeiro operations in Brazil. A new investment of $20 million will be made to supply customers’ growing needs for truck wheel and chassis components. The acquisition will add 400,000 truck wheels and 110,000 agricultural wheels to Cruzeiro’s annual capacity. The additional capacity production will begin in 2023.

  • Irish Ardagh Group announced that the location of its first glass production facility in Brazil will be in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais. With an investment of $500 million, the state-of-the-art facility will supply sustainable glass packaging to leading customers in the growing Brazilian market. Production is expected to commence in the first half of 2024.

  • Petrobras unveiled plans to invest $16 billion in the “largest revitalization project in the offshore industry worldwide” in the Campos Basin revitalization project. Plans include installing three new FPSOs and interconnect more than 100 wells over the next five years. The company has also set its sights on investing $5.5 billion in oil and gas extraction activities.

  • Brazil will gain a new factory of planes that can fly with fighter fuel. Austrian Diamond Aircraft and Brazilian Aeromot announced a joint effort to build a manufacturing facility in Guaiba, Rio Grande do Sul. Investments are worth $60 million, while $16 million will be detonated to kick off the project whose SOP is 2023.

  • Audi will invest $19.2 million to restart production in Brazil. Initially, the plant will have a maximum production capacity of 4,000 vehicles per year and will assemble the Audi Q3 and Audi Q3 Sportsback models at the plant in the city of Sao Jose dos Pinhais.

Mexico

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

  • Flex is investing $100 million in its new, state-of-the-art, 145,000-square-foot facility in Jalisco that will serve as the region's strategic automotive manufacturing hub. It is dedicated to producing advanced electronic components that will accelerate the era of electric and autonomous vehicles.

  • The Chinese capital company Yanfeng Automotive, one of the most important suppliers in the world of automobile interior parts and products, is investing $17 million in its fourth plant in Coahuila.

  • Coahuila has not stopped attracting new automotive investments since the announcement of a $1 billion investment in the reconversion of the GM Complex in Ramos Arizpe to produce electric vehicles starting in 2023.

  • A new APTIV plant will be in the city of Frontera, Coahuila, and will generate 3,200 new jobs for the manufacture of harnesses for use in the automotive sector. With a $14.7 million investment, the Coahuila Automotive Cluster is consolidated in the north of the country. The company will source to the new Tesla facility in Austin.

  • TH Automotive and Baumann Manufacturing will invest a total of $6 million dollars in industrial infrastructure, which will allow them to expand their industrial operations.

  • EXFO, a developer of testing, monitoring, and analysis equipment and software for fixed and mobile network operators, will invest $7.5 million in a new production plant in Querétaro.

  • Sanmina executives confirmed an investment of $216 million and the creation of 2,000 jobs in Jalisco.

  • The German company Henkel will invest $33.2 million for an adhesives plant in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The plant is focused on the production of hot melt adhesives which will be used in the automotive industry.

  • Heineken Mexico announced an investment of $90.4 million for the construction of a can factory at its plant in Meoqui, Chihuahua.

  • Franke, a Swiss manufacturing company supplying the high-end kitchen and food service industries, will invest $50.3 million in San Luis Potosi for the installation and operation of a new plant.

  • John Deere will transfer the production of tractor cabs to its Ramos Arizpe plant, a process that is expected to be completed in 2024.

Costa Rica

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

  • Coloplast is investing $80 million in a new plant expansion of its second medical device production plant in the country.

Chile

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

  • DominguezLab, an Argentine contract research and production organization for the medical industry, will begin expansion in Chile.

  • Sinovac, the Chinese biopharmaceutical company, initiated the construction of its new plant which will require an investment of $100 million and will have an annual production capacity of up to 50 million doses of vaccines against diseases such as COVID-19, influenza, hepatitis A, and others in the future.

Argentina

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

  • General Motors to invest an additional $300 million in the production of the Chevrolet Tracker in Argentina, growing the production from 80,000 to 115,000 vehicles per year.

  • PC Arts and Asus announced a $6.5 million investment to produce notebooks in Argentina.

PicturePicture
Author
Achilles Arbex
Director, Global Services
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The news from Latin America continues to be chock-full of opportunities. Foreign investment sustains its upward trend in automotive, steel, telecom, aerospace, medical, IT, mining, and a surprise or two. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
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