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Wittmann cites strong growth in Mexico

By: Stephen Downer

March 15, 2013

MEXICO CITY – Wittmann Battenfeld GmbH of Kottingbrunn, Austria, has described its business growth in Mexico as "amazing" after almost doubling sales of its injection molding machinery and auxiliary equipment in 2012.

"It was an amazing year. Our sales totaled $15 million, which was 87 percent up on 2011," Rodrigo Muñoz Barrera, general manager of Wittmann Battenfeld México SA de CV, told Plastics News at the Plastimagen México trade show in Mexico City.

Muñoz said injection molding presses accounted for about 30 percent of the business, with the remainder coming from sales of robots and auxiliaries.

Based in Querétaro, a two-hour drive from Mexico City, the Mexican subsidiary expects to increase its sales to $18 million this year, Muñoz said. In January it did $2.4 million worth of business, with injection molding machinery accounting for half.

"January and February were great months for us," said Muñoz. "In fact, January was the best month in the history of the company in Mexico. I believe this will be the trend for the next six or seven years, especially because of the investment taking place in the Mexican automotive industry."

"I don't see any problems on the horizon. Mexico has a new president [Enrique Peña Nieto] who's very pro-business," he added.

The largest press sold by Wittmann Battenfeld in Mexico in 2012 was a machine with a clamping force of 1,000 tons, purchased by a company in the western city of Guadalajara which supplies the electronics and automotive industries, including German lighting and electronics systems specialist Hella KGaA Hueck & Co.

Wittmann Battenfeld's injection molding presses have a clamping force range of 5 tons up to 1,600 tons.

Asked about trends in the Mexican market, Muñoz said electric and hybrid machines are becoming popular in Mexico. The company sold the only Ecopower 240 electric press it was displaying at Plastimagen to a company in Guadalajara which supplies the medical industry.

The largest hybrid press the company makes has a clamping force of 300 tons.