Updated: Aug 13, 2020
Actionable global business intelligence is vital to our members during these uncertain times. AMT’s Global Tech Centers supply updated information from their regions regarding new opportunities as well as status reports on local manufacturing facilities that utilize your products and other relevant news.
Mexico and Latin America
For more information, contact Carlos Mortera (cmortera@AMTonline.org)
Within the first month of the USMCA going into effect, $337 million of new investment was recorded from various countries.
The medical devices and products industry has experienced growth close to 40% in Baja, California due to the pandemic. The electronics assembly industry in the state also experienced significant growth, with July showing an increased plant capacity of $140 million.
Automotive OEMs FCA, Daimler Freightliner, and GM, located in the northern Mexico state of Coahuila, are almost back to 100% of pre-pandemic operations.
A laboratory for innovation, design, and digital manufacturing for the aerospace sector will be built in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico, as an alliance between Mexico and France.
Air flights in Mexico are becoming adjusted to the new normal. In June, domestic commercial flights doubled compared to May, and there was a 100% increase in international flights.
Manufacturing exports increased 40.9% in June compared to May, and automotive exports increased 534.4% in the same period.
Ford announced they will start to manufacture the Bronco Sport SUV in Hermosillo, Sonora, generating 500 new jobs as early as October 2020.
Chihuahua state continues to develop as an aerospace manufacturing hub. A new company, Incora, announced a new retrofitting center for their units. Within the month, companies like Safran and Flex will continue their plant expansion projects that were delayed due to the pandemic.
Resonetics, a micro-laser manufacturing company in the medical sector, confirmed an expansion which will double operations and double the number of employees within the next two years.
Automotive group Groupe PSA started the production of the new Peugeot 208 in El Palomar, near Buenos Aires. This is the first time since 2016 that Argentina has produced small cars.
Pirelli will invest $300 million for a new plant, which will open in 2024.
For more information, contact Achilles Arbex (aarbex@AMTonline.org)
After jumping 8.2% in May, Brazilian industrial production advanced 8.9% in June in the monthly comparison, IBGE reported. The industry's second consecutive increase is still insufficient to reverse the sector's accumulated 26.6% loss in March and April, the height of the coronavirus crisis and social isolation measures, but is heading in the right direction. The most relevant, positive influence over the previous month was automotive vehicles, trailers, and bodies (70%).
Brazilian OEM Romi recorded positive results in the second quarter, an increase of almost 17% compared to the same quarter in 2019. However, most of this growth was in their foundry division, with the machine-tools division being basically flat year-over-year.
The Brazilian Machine Tool Builders’ Association says that April was the trough for Brazilian industry and that the country should see positive results moving forward. The balance of trade between imports and exports indicates a turnaround in many sectors.
Brazilian truck manufacturer FNM announced that the company is back in business. FNM officially closed in 1985 and is reopening to launch two models of electric trucks. FNM was active from 1942 until 1985 and led truck manufacturing in Brazil as a joint effort with the Fiat group.
In July, the Brazilian automotive market grew 33% over June, but is down 30% year-over-year.
Brazilian Marcopolo, one of the main cabin manufacturers, expects the bus market to be back by October.
According to the latest report from the Central Bank, Brazil’s economy seems to be slowly recovering from the adverse effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The GDP projection has improved to an expected market contraction of 5.66% in 2020. This assessment marks the fifth week in a row of improved GDP forecasts by the Central Bank, which projected a GDP drop of 6.5% in mid-June.
For more information, contact Fred Qian (fredqian@AMTchina.org)
China continues to be the world’s largest consumer of industrial robots. This market is expected to reach $29 billion within the next two to three years.
In the first six months of 2020, a total of 49 railway infrastructure projects were approved with a total investment of $136 billion. This will translate into explosive demand in the construction equipment and corresponding machine tools vertical markets.
The China National Statistics Bureau reports a Purchasing Managers’ Index for July of 51.1%. China’s PMI has been above 50% for the last 5 months.
The Chinese Central Bank reported that in the first half of 2020, loans for heavy industry increased 11.4% year-over-year and 23.2% for light industry.
Movie theaters reopened in Shanghai. The 23rd Shanghai International Film Festival ended on Aug. 2 after attracting some 147,502 patrons. Strict virus prevention and control measures were in place, which included capping cinema occupancy at 30% of their total seats.
The Chinese Football Association began their delayed 2020 season in Dalian and Suzhou with exhaustive epidemic prevention measures in place and with games being played without fans. In addition to weekly nucleic acid tests, players, coaches, referees, and staff members are required to stay in high protection "blue zones" at the host cities, with no contact with the outside world allowed.
For more information, contact Hubert Sawicki (HSawicki@AMTonline.org)
On July 21, the European Council approved an unprecedented recovery budget deal. The Next Generation European Union (NGEU), as it is called, is an $890 billion recovery fund. For the first time in its history, the EU will borrow from capital markets to finance expenditures throughout its countries. 70% of the funds will be used in 2021 and 2022, and the remaining 30% in 2023.
In July, industrial production in the Eurozone recorded an increase of 12.4% over June. It is the first increase after several months of decline.
FDI projects seek safety in developed markets, according to AT Kearney. The current ranking is the U.S., Canada, Germany, Japan, France and the U.K., with the European countries marginally losing their positions within the six.
The leading economies of Europe largely remain under the spell of the crisis. Germany's GDP fell by 10.1% in the second quarter and was the sharpest decline since 1970. France's economy contracted by a record 13.8% in the same period.
With a total budget of more than $190 million, the European Commission is accepting proposals to cover 12 categories of projects, including medical countermeasures, defense against unmanned air attacks, and cybersecurity.
Time: matters, the transportation solutions company founded in 2002 as a spin-off from German Lufthansa Cargo, has seen rapid rising demand for its air, rail, and road transportation services during the pandemic. With 26 new infrastructure projects just announced, the company’s core business of transporting spare parts, medical samples, and other time-critical commodities is now shifting to “relief goods”.
Cybersecurity issues have gained prominence because of the pandemic to prevent the exploitation of vulnerabilities caused by remote working. In the U.K. alone, cybersecurity start-ups between mid-March and mid-May increased 940% from the same eight-week period in 2019.
According to Industry Europe, the automotive industry in Europe is showing the first signs of improvement in recent months. Sales of new vehicles are increasing due to governmental initiatives and the fact that pre-pandemic orders are finally being concluded.
Major infrastructure projects in Europe are helping to keep industry moving: the London Crossrail ($24 billion), the Heathrow Airport expansion ($40 million); also in the works are Denmark’s Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link (11 miles of immersed tunnel between Denmark and Germany to connect mainland Europe with Scandinavia), Norway’s Sognefjord Tunnel (four miles) and the Brenner Base Railway Tunnel to connect Austria and Italy (35 miles).
For more information, contact Arun Mahajan (AMahajan@AMTonline.org)
To spur local manufacturing, the Ministry of Defense has proposed a ban on the importation of weapons that could be manufactured in India. If passed, it is estimated that the local aerospace and defense manufacturing sectors would represent $25 billion by the year 2025.
The Indian government plans to disinvest (privatize) 23 state-owned companies in strategic sectors.
The government has imposed import restrictions on color TV sets to increase domestic manufacturing. Presently, 35% of the color TVs sold in the country are imported.
The Ministry of Finance approved an investment of $1 billion toward their artificial intelligence (AI) program. A recent study concluded that AI development could result in a 2.5% increase in India’s GDP.
A total of 22 companies have submitted their application for the production-linked incentive scheme. This program, initiated to increase the local production of cell phones and other electronics, offers 4-6% incentives on incremental sales. Those that have applied include Samsung, Foxconn, Rising Star, Winstron, Pegatron, Lava, Micromax, Sojo, and Optiemus under the cell phone manufacturing segment, and AT&S, Visicon, Walsin, Sahasra, Vitesco, and Neolync under the specified electronic components segment.
It is estimated that the electric vehicle market in India is likely to grow to $7.5 billion by the year 2025.
Hyundai Motors India reached 98% of its pre-COVID production volume in July.
Super Auto Forge is planning to invest $7 million to set up a forged steel and aluminium parts manufacturing facility near Chennai.
Visteon is investing to expand its existing facility in the Chennai region.
Sonalika Tractors saw its highest-ever monthly domestic sales growth of 71.7% in July.