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

Mexico sees hundreds of millions in FDI from China, as well as large investments in automotive. In Brazil, strong automotive production, electrification trends, and mining set the pace of market growth. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.
Nov 22, 2022

Near-shoring and automotive electrification are benefiting our neighbors to the south as investments continue to grow in this sector, as well as for plant expansions, medical, energy, and tech growth. For more industry intel and other tidbits, read on.

Mexico

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

  • In the last two years, large Chinese companies have announced triple-digit investments. Companies like Hisense, Man Wah, and Kuka Home announced investments worth $300 million to establish their presence in the country. So far in 2022, 17 Chinese investment projects have been confirmed, including expansions and new companies, which represent 20.4% of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) the country has received.

  • Wild Fork is investing $10 million to build a new plant in Colombia, Nuevo Leon, which borders Texas.

  • Audi has put Mexico at the technological vanguard of industry. Since its installation in Puebla, their factory has generated 5,000 direct jobs. Beginning in 2026, Audi will only launch electric models on the market. Every Q5 sold worldwide is produced in Mexico, except in China and India. They manufacture all its derivatives: Audi SQ5, Audi Q5 TFSIe, Audi Q5 Sportback, Audi SQ5 Sportback, and Audi Q5 Sportback TFSIe, each one personalized to the wishes of consumers.

  • Ford Motor Company officially inaugurated the Global Technology and Business Center with an investment of $260 million dollars. The new Ford Mexico campus will function as a global center to support the different key operations of the company in the world, becoming a core axis for the transformation and modernization of the company.

  • Pirelli is investing $114 million to expand the plant and innovation center in Guanajuato. The investment will be made in addition to building a development, research, and professional training center.

  • TSN will invest $25 million in its new plant in Queretaro to upfit ambulances, delivery trucks, and other cargo utility vehicles.

  • Emerson announced a double investment in Coahuila. The company will manufacture compressors for air conditioning, expand its Ramos Arizpe factory by approximately 10,000 square feet, and increase its production capacity, which currently stands at 10 million engines. In addition, the company is beginning the construction of a new plant in the municipality of Arteaga, where they will be producing scroll-type compressors to complement their operations in the assembly of residential and commercial air conditioning systems.

  • Bendix began construction of its high-tech plant in Coahuila. The new manufacturing complex will use highly automated manufacturing processes to produce two emerging, next-generation technologies: global scalable brake control (GSBC) and global scalable air treatment (GSAT).

  • Maval’s fifth plant will be installed in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. Since Maval began these operations, approximately $200 million has been invested between openings and expansions.

  • Molex, a global leader in electronics and innovator in connectivity, opened a new manufacturing facility in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Molex has invested $130 million in developing this second state-of-the-art facility, which features new tools, technologies, and processes to meet the unprecedented demand for electric vehicle (EV) interconnect solutions, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and connected vehicles.

  • Safran forecasts investments of $120 million in Queretaro to maintain its 108-engines-per-year volume, which is expected to increase 108.3% by 2025, when it expects to reach 225 engines per year.

  • Denso, which manufactures air conditioners, radiators, alternators, and windshield wiper systems, will invest $9.8 million in expanding its Guanajuato facilities.

  • Harting, a manufacturer of industrial connectors, industrial cabling assemblies, and Ethernet cable switches, is investing $18.9 million in Guanajuato. This company serves sectors such as machinery and robotics, energy and general automation, and transportation. It has plants in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Romania, and China and has 60% of the world market for heavy-duty connectors.

Brazil

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

  • Volvo announced their intention to sell and manufacture electric trucks in Brazil. Volvo also confirmed that it would import its FM Electric truck from Sweden to Brazil; the truck should arrive in Brazil in the first quarter of 2023 for customer testing. The FM Electric truck weighs 44 tons, uses six batteries, and has a range of up to 300 kilometers, being designed for use in large urban areas.

  • Brazilian WEG announced an investment worth $120 million to expand the production capacity of industrial motors and electric components of its Jaragua do Sul facilities. The project is expected to last three years, starting in 2023.

  • BYD plans to produce electric vehicles and process battery raw materials in Brazil. To this end, the Chinese manufacturer has signed a letter of intent with the government of the state of Bahia to set up three production lines in Camacari. The BYD plants' construction in Camacari will begin in June 2023, while investments are worth $600 million.

  • Brazil’s National Association of Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers (ANFAVEA) reported a total of 1,962,406 vehicles produced in the first ten months of 2022, up 7.1% year-over-year. Exports of 42,765 assembled vehicles in October represented a 43.5% increase from the units exported in October 2021.

  • Brazil’s federal government recently authorized 12 companies from various sectors to build 21 stretches of railway across the country. These lines add up to more than 5,000 miles and are expected to involve more than $20 billion in investments.

  • Brazil’s mining sector investments are expected to total $40.44 billion from 2022 to 2026. Major miners, steelmakers, and fertilizer companies operating in Brazil, such as Vale, Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Vallourec, Usiminas, Gerdau, and Yara International, will be the leading investments. Top mining state Minas Gerais is expected to get more than $11 billion in the period, ahead of the $6 billion forecasted to be invested in the northeastern state of Bahia. Investments in iron ore were estimated at $13.6 billion, of which $7.7 billion would go to ongoing projects. In comparison, more than $5 billion is set to be invested in fertilizer projects in the next five years.

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Author
Carlos Mortera
International Director, Latin America
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