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Personal watercraft firm invests in composite technology in Mexico

By: Stephen Downer

November 19, 2013

QUERETARO, MEXICO — Canada’s BRP Inc. is developing new composite technology for fiberglass hulls and decks for its Sea-Doo personal watercraft (PWC) in Mexico.

The technology is used at BRP’s Querétaro facility, which started operations in November 2012, and in which BRP said this month it is investing $95.8 million over several years.

The global power sports vehicle manufacturer began manufacturing the 2014 model Sea-Doo Spark PWC in Querétaro in August. By 2015 it will have transferred production of the entire Sea-Doo line-up to the central Mexico industrial city from its home base in Valcourt, Quebec, Thomas Wieners, BRP’s Querétaro plant director, told Plastics News via email on Nov. 18.

Wieners did not elaborate on the new composite technology being used by BRP, saying only that “we have a composite closed-mold injection process to manufacture hulls and decks for our PWC.”

Neither would he discuss the projected value in dollars of the Querétaro plant’s annual output.

The company’s fiberglass manufacturing in Querétaro is housed in an 85,000-square-foot building, which is separate from the main 500,000-square-foot manufacturing plant.

The Rotax engines which BRP began producing in Querétaro in 2012 were assembled previously at its Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, plant. The Juarez facility today concentrates solely on assembling all of BRP’s Can-Am all-terrain and side-by-side vehicles.

The Querétaro complex employs 640, a figure expected to increase to 1,100 by September 2014, according to Wieners.

BRP sells its vehicles in 105 countries. In addition to Sea-Doo, Can-Am and Rotax, its brands include Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Can-Am Spyder roadsters and Evinrude outboard motors. It employs about 6,800 people worldwide.

“Mexico is a competitive global product delivery hub for BRP,” José Boisjoli, president and CEO, said in a news release this month in which he also praised the qualities of the local work force.

‘‘We believe that through a combination of Mexico’s outward-looking trade strategy, based on its diversified network of trade agreements, and BRP’s export business model, we can compete more effectively in various markets and continue to grow our volumes.”

BRP opened its first manufacturing facility in Mexico, in Ciudad Juárez, in 2001. The Juárez plant employs 1,250.