Arburg GmbH & Co. KG has established its own affiliate in Mexico after working for the past 17 years with a local representative company called Industrias Plasticas L y H SA de CV.
The German machinery maker has named Guillermo Fasterling as manager of the new organization, Arburg SA de CV. Fasterling has been in the plastics injection molding machinery business for 19 years, first for six years with Avance Industrial SA (Demag Plastics Group's representative in Mexico), then with Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. for 10 years and with Engel de Mexico SA de CV for a year. He also spent two years as an independent sales representative.
IPLyH resigned the Arburg representation last year, according to Helmut Heinson, Arburg's global managing director of sales, based in Lossburg, Germany. But he told reporters in Mexico City April 9 that IPLyH's managing director Juan Carlos Lachica would continue with the German machinery maker in a sales capacity.
``We believe in the Mexican market. It has great potential,'' Heinson said during a news conference at Plastimagen, held April 8-11 in Mexico City. ``In the past two years many of our customers in Europe have been moving to Mexico and this is especially so in the automotive industry. For this reason, we are very strong in the automotive industry'' in Mexico.
According to Fasterling, half of Arburg's business in Mexico is with automotive-related companies, with technical, packaging and medical applications accounting for the rest.
Peter Liebe, sales team manager for North America, who also was present at the news conference, said Robert Bosch Sistemas Automotrices SA de CV is one of Arburg's major customers in Mexico, making wipers, engine sensors and starter motors in Toluca, just west of Mexico City, and brake sensors and related cables in San Luis Potos¡.
Other major customers include TRW Automotive and Siemens, which has 18 manufacturing plants in Mexico.
In the injection molding machinery business since 1956, Arburg said it has sold as many as 900 machines in Mexico, and Heinson claims that ``in recent years, our billings have increased a great deal.''
Asked how the euro's strength against the dollar has affected Arburg's business in the region, Heinson responded: ``We are very worried about the exchange rate. We are trying to improve our technology. But if the dollar continues to weaken, it will be a problem, not only for our industry, but for the whole world.''
He added Arburg has no plan to manufacture machines outside Germany. ``But if the dollar weakens further, to two dollars per euro, then it might be different.''
Arburg's main competitors are in Japan, he noted. ``The quality and performance from China is significantly lower than ours. Nevertheless, we are in a competitive situation with China.''
According to Liebe, among the best markets for Arburg in the Americas is Costa Rica.
``It's growing very strongly because many American companies have moved into tax-exempt zones there. We have sold about 100 machines there.''