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

Our reporting countries in the Americas south of the United States continue to see strong growth. USMCA, after only 100 days, has triggered almost $6 billion in investments in Mexico’s manufacturing ecosystem. A new plant for the construction of electric trucks and projects dedicated to aerospace are in the mix. Brazil’s agriculture growth is driving increased demand for equipment while the migration to Industry 4.0 sees major investments in automation, digitization, and additive. Oil, copper, and gold help Colombia and Argentina keep their momentum going. For details and other tidbits, read on.

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

  • Piccoli Green Technology LDA announced the construction of a new facility in the state of Aguascalientes to manufacture electric trucks for the Americas’ market.

  • Impro, headquartered in Hong Kong, is expanding its manufacturing capabilities in North America by adding two new facilities in the Central State of San Luis Potosi. The plants will be dedicated to precision machining and casting, two of their core businesses. One of the facilities will be solely dedicated to aerospace and finishing heat-treated components.

  • Mexican appliance manufacturers are forecasting 4% growth in 2021. The appliance industry in Mexico was considered essential so the impact from the pandemic was minimal.

  • The automotive industry in Nuevo León has been experiencing a strong recovery and, at the end of October, achieved pre-pandemic levels of production. The industry is expecting that the nearshoring trend will additionally boost growth due to the replacement of suppliers from other geographies.

  • The central state of Guanajuato is an automotive industry center. In 2019, the state produced 800,000 cars. In 2020, production has already exceeded 900,000.

  • Exports from Mexico increased 0.93% in September with $37,376 and imports of $32,251.

  • One hundred days since its implementation, USMCA has triggered $5.7 billion in investment in the Mexican manufacturing ecosystem. If the trend continues or improves, the total of the first 12 months could exceed $14 billion in new investments and capacity expansions. This would be a record since the original NAFTA trade agreement went into effect in 1994.

  • August´s Global Indicator of Economic Activity for Mexico (IGAE) grew 1.07% with respect to July, showing an increase for three months in a row. The PMI also continues its increase as reported for the month of October when it closed with a 4% increase over September. It is still in the contraction range but getting closer to the 50 mark.

  • Mexico is listed as one of the countries with the lowest decrease in exports compared to 2019. Exports decreased only 4.3% during the third quarter compared with the same quarter in 2019. Many other countries showed double digit reductions with an average of 9%.

  • Retail sales increased 5.9% in July and 2.54% in August, showing a positive trend for the end of the year.

  • Bosch initiated operation of its newest plant with a heavy investment in Industry 4.0 technologies in Guanajuato, Mexico. They will manufacture TSU units for automotive.

  • Ashcroft is investing in a new facility in Querétaro, where pressure and temperature measurement tools will be manufactured.

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

  • Scania confirmed plans to invest more than $280 million in Brazil. This investment is part of the major plan announced two years ago to modernize facilities to adjust assembly lines with the latest technologies in terms of connectivity, additive, and automation. 

  • Brazilian gun manufacturer Taurus confirmed investments to expand its São Leopoldo facilities. Plans are to build knowledge through a partnership with Joalmi, a Brazilian manufacturer of stamped products. Taurus’ plans are to first manufacture drums in Joalmi’s facilities in Guarulhos and then transfer production lines to Taurus’ facilities in São Leopoldo. Taurus Brazil exports parts and products worldwide besides supplying parts to its subsidiary in Georgia.

  • Following in the gun industry, Brazilian CBC announced an investment of more than $8 million in new machinery to produce cartridges in its Ribeirao Pires facilities. CBC has invested over $300 million in its facilities in Brazil over the last five years.

  • Thyssenkrupp is expanding its job shop capabilities by adding more than $3 million worth of CNC machining centers, lathes, and measurement equipment.

  • Brazilian automotive group Randon launched its new automation company, Randon Tech Solutions. The group will invest more than $5 million in creating capabilities and capacity to produce solutions for the die-and-mold and job-shop segments. This follows the trend of companies pushing to produce more products domestically.

  • Brazilian foundry Tupy recorded its highest operational profit in its history. These results were due to a strategic plan of reducing its portfolio of products, the high demand for locally produced parts, and an in-depth internal restructuration.

  • Metalex, part of the Brazilian CBA group, announced a $15 million investment to produce aluminum rods. This decision was driven by the increased domestic consumption of aluminum products.

  • Brazil’s machinery and equipment sector recorded 9.8% growth in September in comparison to August, and 13.3% growth in comparison to September 2019. The main drivers of this growth are the very strong agriculture market and corresponding equipment needs and the focus on domestic products due to the high cost of imports with the currency devaluation.

  • As per CNI, 68% of a large pool of industries consulted are having problems with their supply chain (raw materials and components). 56% are looking for suppliers abroad to keep up production levels.

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

  • Suttle, a company dedicated to manufacturing devices and terminals used in the telecommunication industry, announced a $1.2 million investment in Alajuela, Costa Rica, increasing their working staff with 50 new jobs.

COLOMBIA

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

  • Sebastopol, a new Colombian oil producer, invested $6 billion in the construction of a new refinery that is expected to start operating in 2023, producing 150,000 barrels per day.

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

  • AGCO will start high-powered tractor production in November with a $1 million investment in Buenos Aires. They will produce two tractor models.

  • Josemaria Resources, a subsidiary of Lundin, a Canadian mining company, confirmed an investment of $3 billion for a copper and gold mine in San Juan.

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