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Auto industry continuing to drive machinery sales in Mexico

By: Stephen Downer

April 9, 2014

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO — KraussMaffei Group says it has sold its biggest PVC injection molding press to a Mexican pipe maker.

Emilio López, managing director of wholly owned KraussMaffei de México S de RL de CV, and Michel Soto, the subsidiary’s sales manager, declined to release any details, such as who the buyer is, in an interview at the Expo Plásticos trade show in Guadalajara.

However, they did say the machine, with 1,300 tons of clamping force, was sold in early January “and we hope it’ll arrive within five months.”

In the same interview, López, a Spaniard who was previously the Munich-based managing director of KraussMaffei’s operations in Iberoamerica, Portugal and Spain before succeeding Héctor Moreno in Mexico, told Plastics News the German press maker’s sales “grew like crazy” in Mexico in the first quarter.

Moreno, who left KraussMaffei to head rival Engel Holding GmbH’s Mexico operation at the end of December, painted a similarly upbeat picture of Engel’s participation in the Mexican market in a separate interview.

“When you speak to automotive industry suppliers they say they’re growing at 15 percent a year,” Moreno said. “This year and next [Engel’s] growth will be in the [Mexican] auto industry.” At least 60 percent of Engel’s business in Mexico is with said industry, he specified.

Engel, said Moreno, makes presses with a clamping force of up to 4,000 tons “and we have several of those installed in Mexico.”

After 18 years with KraussMaffei, he received an offer from Engel that was too good to refuse: replacing Peter Auinger, who has moved to Asia. “It was a new challenge,” he said, stressing his admiration of such Engel innovations as the Austrian company’s tie-bar-less technology.

Engel employs 32 in Mexico, including 14 service personnel. KraussMaffei Group employs 51, according to López. “We’ve hired 12 in the past five months, most of them in service, sales and administration.”

“We’ve not seen any easing off in the market,” said López. “The sales are coming from automotive, construction and packaging and they’re strong. We’ve also sold a lot of machinery in the home appliance sector.”

KraussMaffei has sold 100 GX series machines worldwide since its launch in 2012, it said on its web site, and in 2013 the series’ capacity was increased by adding two new clamping force categories, 750 and 900 metric tons.

In keeping with its operations elsewhere, the group lumped the operations of KraussMaffei (injection molding plus reaction process machinery), KraussMaffei Berstorff (extrusion) and Netstal (mainly packaging and medical injection molding machinery) together in one organization in Mexico on Jan. 1. Patrick Bolliger heads Netstal Mexico.