MEXICO CITY — Auxiliary equipment manufacturer Conair Group has dramatically boosted its Mexican presence, creating a large sales and service subsidiary and striking a joint venture deal with a local manufacturer.
The manufacturer, Reymsa SA de CV in Monterrey, Mexico, makes cooling towers that Conair markets and that carry the Conair name, said Miguel Bonnin, director general of Conair Mexicana, based in Guadalupe.
The partnership with Reymsa, one of the largest and best-known Mexican manufacturers of such equipment, started in March, he said in a Sept. 9 interview at the PlastImagen '97 trade show in Mexico City.
Although Conair provides some parts for making the towers, it has not invested in Reymsa, he said.
Conair Mexicana has boosted the company's sales in Mexico fourfold since it began operating in November, according to Bonnin. He would not provide sales figures. The unit employs 17 in sales, support and engineering.
Previously, Conair relied on local representatives, and had a partnership with a Mexican manufacturer in the 1960s and 1970s.
The company is not considering establishing any other Mexican joint ventures or a local plant, because the North American Free Trade Agreement makes it very easy to ship goods, said Ben Martin, director of group marketing resources for Pittsburgh-based Conair.
The Pennsylvania company also has a new sales and marketing partnership in Brazil, with the former head of one of that country's plastics trade associations. The venture with Alexandre Fix and his Brazilian company, hot-runner and mold base manufacturer Polymold, will use Polymold's sales and support staff.
That effort began in March but has increased Brazil sales threefold because Conair's sales there were very small, company officials said.
Brazil is a stronger market than Mexico right now because it has more people and its economy is stronger, said Vince Witherup, Conair international marketing and sales vice president. Conair targeted the Mexican market first because it was easier economically and culturally to begin there, he said.