Jaguar Corp. SA de CV, a leading Mexican maker of disposable polystyrene cups and plates, has opened a $25 million complex to replace the plant destroyed by fire 10 months ago. Built on the same site in Zapopan in western Mexico, the new operation is "one of the most technologically advanced in Latin and North America," said Jose Julian Franco, Jaguar managing director. The facility began operations early this year.
The plant eventually will employ 500 people, and will give Jaguar the capacity to produce 450 million plastic cups per month at its two plants. The other cup and plate plant opened in Tlaxcala several months ago.
Before the May fire, Jaguar had capacity to make 330 million cups per month. The company claimed 40 percent of the Mexican market for plastic cups and plates. Jaguar also exported $10 million worth of finished products to the United States in both 1998 and 1999.
The fire wiped out 100 percent of the company's installed cup and plate capacity. However, Jaguar had full insurance coverage, Franco said.
The company is 100 percent Mexican owned, and the principal shareholder is Carlos Salvador Reynoso.
Jaguar's plan now is to recover market share "in a short period of time," Franco said.
The company used to be the main supplier of containers for some Mexican supermarkets' private-label brands.
Among the equipment and systems installed are Welex extrusion lines, Motan raw-material transport systems, Maguire blenders, ITS thermoforming machines and Cumberland grinders.
"Jaguar coordinated the engineering of the whole process," Franco said.
Jaguar was founded at the end of 1975 in a rented warehouse in Guadalajara. Initially its main activity was the sale of disposable bags.
The company's shareholders built their first low density polyethylene bag plant in nearby Jalostotitlan in 1977. It employed 22.
Today, Jaguar has four manufacturing facilities, 18 distribution centers and 150 trucks. It has 1,500 workers on its payroll and another 3,000 are employed indirectly.
In addition to cups and plates, the company makes 53 million pounds of PE bags annually, Franco said.